Ziaulhaq Ghafoori (Booyah)
Ziaulhaq “Booyah” Ghafoori is the President and CEO of the Interpreting Freedom Foundation which is 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization that honors the service of interpreters and advocates for their needs. Booyah is a Special Immigrant Visa recipient from Afghanistan who served as a combat interpreter and a cultural adviser assigned to U.S. Army Special Forces from 2003 to 2014.
Despite the death threats he received from individuals within Afghanistan, he continued to dedicate his time and service to helping the U.S. military and its mission. Booyah also served as the Vice President of a logistics company that facilitated inter-governmental logistical services in the Central Asian Region.
Booyah knows all too well about war and its effects on people. Perhaps one of the most life-defining moments of Booyah’s life was on April 6, 2008, when he accompanied a combined team of Special Operations Command and Afghan Commandos in the Nuristan Province Shok Valley to capture a high-level target. His team fought for almost seven hours and Booyah lost his best friend and fellow interpreter, CK. Despite this, he pushed through the battle and helped carry his wounded team members to safety for the next six hours. After the battle ended many in the combined force were wounded and many of the U.S. service members received awards and medals.
At CK’s funeral, as a sign of respect and solidarity, Booyah and Co-Founder Bahroz Mohmand along with other interpreters were given commemorative purple hearts from the team commander. Booyah was awarded a Purple Heart and a Combat Infantryman Badge for being wounded in action and carrying wounded soldiers to safety.
Today Booyah has made a home here in the United States. He has increased his network of friends and supporters and has found his calling in advocating and helping his fellow interpreters and American veterans. In the end he says, “I will be available for them to help them again and again.”
Bahroz Mohmand (Blade)
Bahroz Mohmand (Blade) was born on May 8, 1989 in Kabul Afghanistan and graduated from Abdul Hadi Dawi High School in 2004. Just after high school, Blade joined the United States Army Special Forces as a combat interpreter and cultural adviser. He engaged in combat missions for nine years.
During his time of service Blade experienced the loss of numerous friends and teammates, but he never imagined that he would also lose his longtime childhood friend and schoolmate, Special Forces Interpreter CK. Even though he himself had been wounded in the battle and lost his best friend, Blade never backed down and was awarded a Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman Badge for his relentless dedication and support.
In December 2012, Blade and his wife were granted Special Immigration Visas to seek safety in the United States, but soon after he arrived he found that he didn’t have the support he had hoped for. In January 2013 he and his wife lost their newborn baby during childbirth. They were devastated and heartbroken. Adding to the heartbreak, they couldn’t find a place to lay their child to rest. Blade didn’t have the resources required to cover the burial costs and finding assistance was an impossible task. Only after raising more than $4,000 Blade and his wife were finally able to give their son a proper burial.
Soon after the loss of his son, in May 2013, Blade was delivering pizza for Domino’s Pizza. One night he was brutally attacked by 3 unknown men. Blade was beaten so badly he was eventually knocked unconscious. They stole everything he had and left him there bruised and bleeding. At first, this attack left Blade feeling unsafe and unwelcome, but he never gave up on the American dream. He works relentlessly every day to create a life of peace, love, and freedom. He would like other interpreters to know that when hard times hit, there will be others who understand and have been there to help pick them up and help them find the way.
Board of Directors
Noor Hamza Amiri was born on January 1, 1988, in Panjshir Afghanistan. Noor graduated from Feraj High School in 2006 and attended Tabish University in Kabul, Afghanistan where he studied Law and Political Science.
In December 2008, Noor joined the United States Army as an interpreter and training specialist serving in Kanadaher, Afghanistan. In 2010 Noor became an Independent Contractor for the United States Army Special Forces in Kabul, Afghanistan where he served alongside brave and intelligent members of the United States Army. From 2011-2014, Noor was employed by Mission Essential Personnel assigned to the United States Army Special Forces engaged in Operation Enduring Freedom throughout Afghanistan.
After his service ended, Noor and his family decided to move to the United States to seek safety, and to create a better life. Noor currently lives in Columbia, South Carolina with his wife and three children. When Noor first arrived in America he was faced with numerous struggles including; financial issues, access to services, cultural barriers, lack of transportation and limited job opportunities.
Statement from Noor: “Interpreters deserve high support because they put their lives in danger and their whole family at risk for freedom!”
Zobyhullah (Zoby) Pardis was born on January, 1, 1984 in Kabul-Afghanistan. Zoby Graduated from Shir Shah Suri High School in 2008 and did his Diploma in Business and Administration from Maiwand Higher Education Institute.
In early 2004, Zoby Joined US Army as a Head interpreter in different Provinces of Afghanistan. As a Combat Interpreter Zoby has gone through lots of IED hits and ambushes while on mission with the US Army troops.
In late 2007, Zoby has joined USAID as a Travel Coordinator and was responsible to escort US officials and VIP’S from Kabul Airport to their destinations. Zoby faces several attack on him during his career helping US Army and Officials which he was survived. In May, 2009 while Zoby was on duty he was targeted and hit by a car which in result he lost his left leg above the Knee.
In July 2014, finally Zoby was able to obtain his US Visa and escaped the threatened life he had.
While arrived to state Zoby has faced lots of challenges and problems which he did and still struggles. We are forgotten warriors, and it’s our duty now to work hard for the rights of those heroes who are unknown.