Born in Iran, but now a US citizen, Translators without Borders (TWB) volunteer Mehrnaz Kuros has a degree in business administration, and considerable experience working in the corporate sector. She is well aware that many of the refugees she sees on television have similar qualifications and experience to herself. That is why she decided to make a difference from a distance.
Desperate to help
Like many of us, when Mehrnaz saw the first television and print images of refugees bound for Europe, she was shocked and sad. She realized that many of them had been forced into this action by circumstances well beyond their control. “It is unbelievable, how people give up everything and risk their lives, to begin a new life, in a new world.”
“It all comes down to politics,” she notes. “For some people, being in power blinds them to the inherent value of people, nature, heritage, and humanity.”
Mehrnaz was determined to help those affected by political turmoil.
“I thought that by cooperating with Translators without Borders, I could play a small part in helping migrants and refugees. I wish the best for them”
Mehrnaz’s daughter sent her a link to a site that talked about the work of TWB to help refugees affected by the crisis in Europe. With considerable experience translating between English and Farsi, Mehrnaz was quick to volunteer her skills and join TWB’s Rapid Response Translation (RRT) team.
Helping from a distance
Several times a week, Mehrnaz connects remotely with TWB team members and volunteers to identify the material that she can translate. She does all of the translation remotely, even while she is traveling.
Being able to communicate in other languages is important to Mehrnaz. She believes that it helps her to relate to people from different nations and to stay informed about news and current affairs. Her language skills enable her, through translation, to help other people to adjust to new conditions, environments, and societies. One of the most satisfying translations Mehrnaz has completed for TWB was a text regarding the EU-Turkey deal, which negotiated in March 2016. While she was aware of the many challenges the deal presented, she saw it as at least a framework for responding. She was happy to be able to communicate it to people who, until then, had operated in an environment of uncertainty, rumor, and chaos.
Clearly affected by what she describes as “the modern exodus,” Mehrnaz remains optimistic about addressing it. “It’s so sad to read the news – and it’s somehow unbelievable – to have had so many disasters in the 21st century. I hope things will move in a better direction and crises can be solved.”
Want to volunteer?
With dedicated volunteers like Mehrnaz working from a distance, there is always hope that things will indeed change for the better. Sign up to be a Rapid Response Volunteer with Translators without Borders now.
By Kate Murphy, Translators without Borders volunteer