If you’ve been keeping up with recent trends when it comes to migration, refugees, and IDP’s, then you may have gotten the gritty details from one or more stories or accounts of families living it first hand.

I was particularly fascinated recently to read about the story and work of Ali Sher Kashimi, a 22-year old ethnic Hazara from Afghanistan who shares the heritage and culture of the asylum seekers he is helping. Ali’s role is vital: he is the interpreter who can help refugees navigate language challenges and make their daily life easier. Not only so, Ali is in fact an inter-cultural translator of some sort in which he’s doesn’t only translate language but culture as well. He makes the transition from a language to another easier, so he builds bridges between and amongst cultures. In an article about the work of UNHCR with refugees in Greece, Ali says “All the people of concern need interpreters,” about his work with the Heraklion Development Agency, and whom is fluent in Urdu, Farsi, Dari and Greek (can we safely assume English as well!?). Ali also does social orientation and helps refugees to adapt to their new communities.

Ali’s story is peculiar not only in that he’s a skilled interpreter, but the significance of his personal background and story. Ali was also a refugee and first arrived in Greece in 2008. I believe he does his job so well thanks to this very personal experience he had to undergo. Ali is especially able to empathize with the refugees he assist and knows their needs ‘thanks’ to the ordeal that he underwent as a child, starting with his family’s flight from Jaghori, in the highland Afghan region of Hazarajat, to Quetta in Pakistan to escape escalating fighting with the Taliban and the Afghan government. His story (click on the link below for all the details) is an incredible journey of survival and hope that will give you all the feels. Being able to overcome such a challenging situation, yet out of his control, tells the story of how Ali came to be, what makes him who he is, and why he’s the best at what he does. Some things can either break us or make us stronger; the ability of Ali to flourish into a stronger young man is in his courage and perseverance despite of it all, in spite of it all. It makes one wonder if one’s story has brought oneself to such a space… a space of suffering, along with many others, beyond words or expression. And yet in this sacred space of also reflection and finally liberation one can find the same ones who can stand once and once more in the face of life.

Full story at: http://www.unhcr.org/news/stories/2018/3/5ab4eaa74/afghan-lost-boys-provide-bridge-crete-nations.html?utm_campaign=HQ_EN_post_Global_Core%2520Social%2520Media%2520Outreach&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social