Interpreting Freedom Foundation

OUR MISSION

Founded in 2018, The Interpreting Freedom Foundation (IFF) is committed to supporting our Afghan Interpreters, allies, and families as they transition to their new life as community members of our United States of America.


WHO WE ARE

We provide comprehensive support services for all US combat interpreters who were engaged in Operation Enduring Freedom. These military and special ops interpreters played a critical role in the battlefield alongside US Armed Forces.



OUR LEADERSHIP

Ziaulhaq Ghafoori (Booyah)
President /CEO/Co-Founder

Ziaulhaq Ghafoori is the C.E.O., President of the Board of Directors, and Co-Founder of the Interpreting Freedom Foundation. Zia, callsign “Booyah,” was an Afghan Special Immigrant Visa recipient. In 2020, Zia earned his U.S. Citizenship. From 2002 to 2014, Zia served our U.S. Special forces, Navy Seals, and other Special Operations teams as a combat interpreter and a cultural adviser.

Zia dedicated his youthful years in service of helping our U.S. Military. This, despite the death threats Zia and his family, received from the Taliban and other Terrorists. Before Zia left Afghanistan, the Taliban offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who killed or seriously wounded Zia.

On April 6, 2008, Zia fought beside a team of Special Operators in the famed battle of Shok Valley. Zia and his small team of a little more than a dozen Operators fought for their lives for almost seven hours against hundreds of Taliban fighters. Despite overwhelming odds and being wounded himself, Zia displayed great courage as he regularly carried his wounded U.S. Military team members to safety. During the battle of Shok Valley, Zia’s best friend and fellow Interpreter C.K. was killed in action.

Following Zia’s heroic actions in the battle of Shok Valley, Zia was given by his Special Forces Teammates a commemorative Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman Badge. In addition to the 11 Silver Stars being awarded to U.S. Servicemembers stemming from this battle, two Medals of Honor were also awarded.

In honor of Zia’s service and participation in the battle of Shok Valley, Zia was invited to the White House and was personally recognized by the President of the United States alongside his Special Forces teammates.

Additionally, Zia was a member of the Quick Reaction Force (QRF, or standby team) team for Operations Neptune Spear, the raid to capture or kill Osama bin Laden.

Since Zia and his family came to America, Zia has pulled himself and his family out of homelessness after a short stay in a homeless shelter. Zia bought a house and committed all of his time and extra financial resources to support other Interpreters. Zia now works for The Independence Fund, a Veteran Service Organization whose primary mission is to serve catastrophically wounded Veterans. He, his wife, and their 4 children live in Charlotte, NC.

Zia has been quoted as saying, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

Bahroz Mohmand (Blade)
Co-Founder/Treasurer

Bahroz Mohmand is a Member of the Board of Directors and Co-Founder of the Interpreting Freedom Foundation. In 2018, callsign “Blade” earned his U.S. Citizenship. Starting at the age of 15, from 2004 to 2012, Blade served our U.S. Special forces, Navy Seals, and other Special Operations teams as a combat interpreter and a cultural adviser.

Like Zia, Blade also fought in the battle of Shok Valley. Blade received the same accolades and recognition for his heroism as Zia after also fighting and being wounded on the battlefield alongside our U.S. Special Forces.

Additionally, Blade was also a member of the QRF team for Operation Neptune Spear, the raid to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. Blade also responded as part of the QRF team in response to the Extortion 17 attack, “America’s deadliest day” in Afghanistan.

In December 2012, Blade and his wife were granted Special Immigration Visas. Soon after Blade and his wife arrived in the United States, they found that life was not as they had hoped. In January 2013, Blade and his wife lost their newborn baby during childbirth. Adding to the heartbreak, they were unable to find a place to lay their child to rest. Blade didn’t have the resources required to cover the burial costs, and finding assistance seemed impossible. Thanks to the support of some generous people, Blade was finally able to lay his child to rest.

Also, in 2013, while Blade was working as a deliveryman for Domino’s Pizza, he was brutally robbed and beaten unconscious. Since Blade’s arrival to America, he has worked to establish a life of peace for himself and his family. Blade is now a senior corporate security manager for a large national retail company. He, his wife, and their three children live in Charlotte, NC.

Blade has been quoted as saying, “Strong people stand up for themselves, but the strongest people stand up for others.”

Sean P. Kilbane
Board Member

Sean Kilbane is a Member of the Board of Directors for the Interpreting Freedom Foundation. Sean joined the Army Reserves in 2003. In 2007 he deployed to Afghanistan and supported the 101st Airborne Division. Upon his return, he began a career in Law Enforcement, working as a Policeman.

In 2011, Sean was selected to serve as Team Leader of a Special Operations team (Psychological Operations), often working with and relying on Afghan Interpreters. That same year, Sean again deployed to Afghanistan, assigned to the United States Marine Corps, 1st Marine Division, and their 1st Recon Battalion. After his second deployment to Afghanistan, Sean was honorably discharged from the Army Reserves.

While serving the community of  Charleston, SC. as a law enforcement officer, Sean conducted a traffic stop that progressed into a gunfight with a career criminal. After this critical incident, Sean looked for a new mission in the service of others.

Sean has been featured on Fox News and contributed to presidential campaigns by developing Military and Veteran community engagement strategic outreach programs. Sean is the owner of Xyston Consulting, LLC., a Charlotte NC. based consulting company.

Sean has been quoted as saying, “When America sent me to war in Afghanistan, I was ordered to swear to our Afghan Allies that we would not forget their sacrifice or surrender them and their families to death or destitute. Our Government has failed to honor that oath. However, I made the pact. Please help me keep my promise to those who fought beside me! – This We’ll Defend

Grant L. Campbell, MD
Board Member

Dr. Grant Campbell is a Member of the Board of Directors for the Interpreting Freedom Foundation. Dr. Campbell grew up in a single-parent home, often relying on the charity of others to make ends meet. A gifted student, Dr. Campbell gained admission to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned a degree in Health Policy and Administration with Honors and a minor in Chemistry. Dr. Campbell was accepted to medical school at the same institution where he earned his Doctorate in Medicine while serving as Student Body President. Dr. Campbell completed his residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology in Charlotte, North Carolina.

After 9/11, Dr. Campbell felt called to serve his country after learning of the shortage of surgeons in the military and joined the United States Army Reserves Medical Corps. Dr. Campbell deployed four times, once to Kuwait, once Iraq, and twice to Afghanistan as a General/Trauma Surgeon with a Forward Surgical Team attached to the 3rd Group, Special Forces. He finished his time with the Army in 2017 and was honorably discharged as a Lt. Colonel.

He now lives in Concord, NC, with his wife of 24 years and two children. He practices medicine and serves as the Chairman of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Atrium Health-University City.


OUR PROGRAMS

The Interpreting Freedom 5 Core Programs are designed to meet the immediate needs of the average Interpreter and their family. According to the U.S. Department of State, the average family size will be 5 to 6 People. The program’s goal is to take a newly arrived Interpreter or Ally and provide these supports to them and their family over 90 days. When able, the program culminates with the family receiving one lost cost, used vehicle to secure and promote their independence and self-sufficiency

OUR IMPACT

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Vehicles Provided
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Temporary & Permanent Housing Units Secured
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Job Placements Facilitated

MEDIA


This photo was taken in the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff inside the Pentagon on the day that Zia and Blade along with the other members of Special Forces Operational Detachment (ODA) 3336 were recognized for their participation and sacrifice at the the Battle of Shok Valley, Afghanistan.

We want to thank the Charlotte VFW and Tim Woods, who continue to support our cause and spread the word about the critical issues and community needs addressed by IFF.



OUR STORY

ALONE WE CAN DO SO LITTLE, TOGETHER WE CAN DO SO MUCH
WE STARTED WITH A GOAL, TO BUILD A COMMUNITY OF SUPPORT TO HELP INTERPRETERS AND THEIR FAMILIES IN THE TIME OF NEED.
THE FOLLOWING ARE ONE OF THE MANY TRAGIC STORIES THAT INSPIRED THE IDEA OF FOUNDING AN ORGANIZATION THAT WOULD ADVOCATE FOR THE NEEDS OF INTERPRETERS AND HELPS PREVENT SUCH TRAGEDIES FROM REOCCURRING.
IFF CO-FOUNDER BAHROZ MOMAND (BLADE) SERVED AS A SPECIAL FORCES INTERPRETER IN AFGHANISTAN FOR 9 YEARS AND WAS ABLE TO RESETTLE WITH HIS FAMILY IN CALIFORNIA, USA IN DECEMBER 2012 THROUGH THE SPECIAL IMMIGRATION VISA. IN JANUARY 2013 HE STRUGGLED TO FIND A LOCATION TO PEACEFULLY LAY TO REST HIS BABY WHO HAD NOT SURVIVED CHILDBIRTH. HE DID NOT KNOW WHERE TO TURN. FINDING ASSISTANCE WAS AN IMPOSSIBLE TASK. AFTER NUMEROUS UNANSWERED PHONE CALLS, DEAD-ENDS AND FINDING LITTLE SUPPORT FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND OTHER RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS.
TRAGEDIES LIKE THESE BROUGHT TOGETHER A SMALL GROUP OF INTERPRETERS WHO TALKED AND SHARED COUNTLESS STORIES OF INTERPRETERS WHO ARE STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE WITH VERY LIMITED RESOURCES. IN RESPONSE, THE GROUP DECIDED TO TAKE ACTION. AS A RESULT, INTERPRETING FREEDOM FOUNDATION WAS BORN.
THE IDEA WAS TO FIND A WAY TO LET INTERPRETERS KNOW THAT THEY ARE NOT ALONE AND THEY HAVE SOMEWHERE TO TURN. THE OBJECTIVE WAS TO CREATE A REAL, COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITY OF SUPPORT FROM THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN THERE AND EXPERIENCED FIRST-HAND WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN THROUGH. SINCE THOSE EARLY CONVERSATIONS, THE FOUNDERS HAVE BROADENED THEIR GOALS TO INCLUDE A PROVISION OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT, COUNSELING SERVICES, EMPLOYMENT RESOURCES, HELP WITH SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISA APPLICATIONS, AND ADVOCATING FOR VETERAN’S BENEFITS TO HELP OFFSET THE DAILY BURDEN EXPERIENCED BY INTERPRETERS WHO HAVE RELOCATED THEIR FAMILIES.
STRONG PEOPLE STAND UP FOR THEMSELVES, BUT THE STRONGEST PEOPLE STAND UP FOR EACH OTHER
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE INTERPRETING FREEDOM FOUNDATION AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS IS THAT IT IS A GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT CREATED BY HIGHLY DECORATED MILITARY INTERPRETERS WHO HAVE ALL SERVED DIRECTLY IN COMBAT AND SUCCESSFULLY RELOCATED TO THE UNITED STATES. THEIR FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE SITUATION MAKE THEM UNIQUELY QUALIFIED TO UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS AND THEIR UNITED EFFORTS ARE DESIGNED TO HELP OTHERS WHO ARE IN NEED.


HOW YOU CAN HELP


Your contribution helps us provide resettlement support for our U.S. Combat Interpreters. Most of our U.S. Combat Interpreters have lost everything and had their lives shattered after an emergency evacuation.

Your generosity uplifts and sustains our spirits and lets us know we are not in this alone. Here are the ways you can make a direct impact: 

Mailed Checks may be made out and sent to “Interpreting Freedom Foundation”, 8349 Arrowridge Blvd. Suite R, Charlotte, NC. 28273

The Interpreting Freedom Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 organization and your donation is tax deductible.

EIN: 831204288


PRESS

CONTACT US

FOR MORE INFORMATION – TO VOLUNTEER – FOR MEDIA REQUESTS – PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW OR E-MAIL US AT: info@interpretingfreedom.org

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

SHARING THIS WEBPAGE & FOLLOWING US ON SOCIAL MEDIA ARE TWO OF THE MOST IMPORTANT WAYS YOU CAN HELP MAKE AN IMPACT