Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

Iraqi Interpreter Series by Deborah Haynes

January 3rd, 2009

Thanks for the lead, James!

BBC correspondent Andrew Marr presented the first inaugural Tony Bevins Prize for investigative journalism, also called “Rat Up A Drainpipe Award” to Deborah Haynes, a journalist who reported on interpreters in Iraq. Marr told the Society of Editors [on 11 November] that the newspaper industry needs to do more to “market itself” and explain “why newspapers matter”.
Of course, my mission is to explain why interpreters matter, and expand the marketing on our behalf. All of the following links are to articles by Deborah Haynes (either solo or in a team), below are additional articles by others.

Deborah Haynes on Iraqi Interpreters:

Outrage over betrayal of Iraqi interpreters (7 August 2007) by Michael Evans
Do the Right Thing: Britain must not abandon its bravest allies in Iraq (7 August 2007)
Brown intervenes over the Iraqi interpreters denied political asylum (8 August 2007) by Francis Elliott, Greg Hurst, and Michael Evans
‘Interpreters for the British will be killed if they are left behind’ (11 August 2007) by Ben McIntyre
What’s Arabic for ‘we’ll stand by you’? The Iraqi interpreters are tainted as collaborators (17 August 2007) by Ben McIntyre
Get out or die, security force chief tells interpreters for British Army (14 September 2007) by Martin Fletcher
Matter of Interpretation: Britain should be as generous as possible to Iraqis who have risked their lives (6 October 2007)
Ministerial statement on Iraqi interpreters
Statement issued by David Miliband, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 9 October 2007
Interpreters can choose cash for resettlement or new life in UK (10 October 2007) by Richard Beeston
Iraqi interpreters – once more by Oliver Kamm (28 February 2008)
Iraqi interpreters and families prepare for new lives in Britain also posted at Signs of the Times which includes a timeline stating:

  • “August 12 An interpreter claims that about 60 colleagues have been killed working for the British” and
  • “September 16 A man believed to be an interpreter is beaten in front of his pregnant wife and killed”
  • (note: both lack link or reference).

Britain shamed as Iraqi interpreters are resettled in squalid tower blocks (13 June 2008) by Michael Evans and Sam Coates
Comment added to blog reposting of Iraqi who risked all for Britain is left to his fate in Basra

This is absolutely despicable. The British are no better than the Bush Administration for not harboring Iraqi interpreters who helped them when they needed them.
The Iraq Veterans’ Refugee Aid Association is going to do everything we can to help brave Iraqis like Mohammed.~Luis Carlos Montalvan

Where are your tributes to justice and courage now, Gordon Brown? (12 September 2008)

Top Ten UK-US Words Lost in Translation (15 August 2008)
Amnesty International UK Awards for 2008 also posted via the Women News Network Breaking News Portal.
Deborah Haynes wins award for Iraq reports (11 November 2008)
Facebook Group: Asylum for Iraqi Interpreters & Employees of Armed Forces
Nominations for 2008 Intrranet Linguist Awards include Deborah Haynes and Eric Camayd-Freixas, who I blogged about on 11 July 2008, on his Breaking Role to Serve Justice. The list is also posted at

1 Comment

Categories: Call this ACTION LEARNING!, Interpreting
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One Response to “Iraqi Interpreter Series by Deborah Haynes”

  1. steph says:

    A commentary in today’s NYTimes, about a year after the series posted above, revisits the consequences of interpreting in war zones.

    Home Fires: Interview with an Iraqi Translator

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