Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Come to the mountains of Afghanistan and watch my battle with the Taliban, for one day, then imagine what I go through, every day....

As an Afghan interpreter helping the NATO forces counter the Taliban in the country of his birth, Shabir Khan is lost between two worlds – that of his countrymen whose every suffering he experiences to his core and of the stunning landscapes of his homeland, and that of crusading foreign forces trying to counter the brutality of a group of fighters determined to stamp out the modernity of universal education, health care and equality among the Afghan people.

As far as Mullah Aslam, who leads a band of Taliban guerrillas, is concerned, Shabir Khan and his fellow interpreters are traitors and American dogs who deserve to be captured, stabbed a thousand times and decapitated as soon as he can get his hands on them. For the NATO forces they support, they are emblematic of the ideal they are fighting for, and essential translators not only of the language itself, but of the psychology, culture and the terrain of the country they have been mandated to pacify.

'The Interpreter' is a fictionalised first hand account, written by a real Afghan interpreter, of what it is like to patrol the wilds of Afghanistan, and to seek to enhance the daily lives of its people, under the relentless threat of imminent death and mutilation from sudden rocket and mortar attacks, ambushes, landmines and suicide bombers.

It is also the story of the vendetta between Mullah Aslam as the scourge of the NATO forces and Shabir Khan as their collaborator, and of the day they meet face-to-face, knowing that soon one or both of them must die.

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