As a translator in Pikpa, providing language assistance, I hear many people’s stories. Refugees were forced into their situations. No one can forget what has happened to them.
It is not difficult to translate people’s words, but sometimes it is difficult when you hear stories that touch you a lot and make you feel disappointed. But that is okay, I can deal with that. Although you hear about people’s suffering, you also see how they are trying to cope. They are very powerful people, and this makes you feel more powerful yourself.
I think it helps that I have been a refugee myself. I have the same story. This helps me to understand the people here, to know their needs and to communicate them to others. I was studying English before I came to Greece and learnt Greek here. I also speak Farsi and Dari. I have both the experience of being a refugee and the experience of being a staff member supporting them.
I love my work at Pikpa. For me, it is very nice working in solidarity with people. Everybody puts energy into their work without expecting something in return and reaches out a helping hand to those who need it. Happy individuals make for a happy society.
As a translator you have to hold a person’s story and then pass it onto another person. It is a big responsibility. We are human – when we hear a story it can touch us. It may be painful; it may make you happy. You hear so many different stories.
Interviews by Tom Adams and Aud Steinsbekk / Editing by Tom Adams
Photo by Knut Tinagent