Interpreter Farzad: ‘I can be helpful by making people feel understood’

Meet Farzad from Iran. He is part of our ground team; a group of amazing volunteers who live in Moria themselves. Despite their difficult situations, they chose to be of service to others. Just like Farzad, who has been helping as an interpreter in our medical clinic in Lesbos since last month. We are very grateful for his help!

“Interpreting is much more than just literally translating the words between the patient and de medic. It’s about trust, listening and setting people at ease. Sometimes, when the doctor is away for a while to get medicine, people open up and tell me about their background. I think I can be most helpful when I listen to people and make them feel heard and understood.

When I arrived in Moria I saw the situation and got depressed. I feel sorry about the conditions in which people are living here. Staying active by working in the clinic really helps me cope with all of it. I know English, so why not use it to help others. It is important to use my English to help other people while at the same time, helping myself and learning new things.

It’s been great to meet and work alongside people from so many different nationalities. I can learn a lot about different cultures, countries and languages. One of the doctors sometimes writes down some German words for me to learn, and I do the same for him. I’ve also gained a lot of knowledge about healthcare.

My wish for the future is to study again. Back in Iran I studied information technology, but unfortunately wasn’t able to finish. I’m going to continue studying when I get asylum. Also, I’m a soccer player. Back in Iran I played in a league that is just one level below the most prestigious competition of the country. I’d like to join a soccer club here and play again.”

– Farzad, interpreter @ medical clinic


Credits: Tessa Kraan