The Young Iraqi Translator Who Gave His Life for the American Effort

Monday, March 11, 2013

A stryker vehicle lies on its side after surviving a buried IED blast in 2007. (U.S. Army)

As America and the people of Iraq are challenged to make sense of the decade that followed the U.S. invasion of Iraq, tens of thousands of people who witnessed the violence and the cauldron of change that accompanied the fall of Saddam Hussein are not here to testify. In their eyes is a story of sacrifice, of lives wasted of children never permitted to grow up.

Imagine telling the story of the war in Iraq from the perspective of one young Iraqi who cared deeply about his country and who also worked on the front lines as an Arabic interpreter. He was forced to consider danger at the edge of the conflict and the vulnerable Iraqis — his friends and neighbors — that he wanted to protect. It's a story of the war through one young man named Muhammad, and nicknamed Roy to protect his identity and that of his family.

Blake Hall is a former Army captain. He led a reconnaissance platoon in Iraq from July 2006 to September 2007. Ibrahim is a former interpreter for the U.S. Army and Mohammed’s cousin. 


Blake Hall and Ibrahim

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja and Jen Poyant

Comments [3]

Emily from Woodstock, CT

Thank you for showcasing the unsung heroes in this story. These Iraqis risked their lives to help us!!! I wish more Americans knew about these interpreters and the sacrifices they made. I know an Iraqi interpreter who eventually made it safely here to the States. I met him two years ago and we immediately fell in love and are now engaged to be married!

Mar. 12 2013 08:18 AM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

What a heartbreaking story of a kid who had a dream and a mission.
I tried to think of the kids name on the show M.A.S.H. who hangs around with Hawkeye and Trapper. I imagined Roy's situation to be similar; a smart kid who is grounded in the idea of bringing his country together. A true hero. I imagined him having lots of laughs with the American soldiers even in the face of death.

Mar. 11 2013 01:44 PM
Marcia Morgado from Miami, Florida

Thank you for this story! It is officers such as Blake Hall who make us proud of being Americans. I pray that all the family is finally reunited in the US and no more potential terrorists are allowed to infiltrate the system.

Good day!

Mar. 11 2013 10:06 AM

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