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Participant Spotlight: "Being an interpreter means always helping others."

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“Being an interpreter means always helping others.”   

Eiman's sons, Subhan and Noman, on an outing to Mt. Rainier. Photo: Eiman/IRC

Two years ago, 29-year-old Eiman landed in Seattle from Afghanistan with her husband and two young sons. She and her family began building a new home here in Washington and with help from the IRC’s Economic Empowerment Program, Eiman pursued a new career as a professional interpreter.

“It was an extremely grateful experience working with the IRC," says Eiman, who began interpreting on a volunteer basis after just six months in the U.S. She shared her time, energy, and multilingual skills to help other Afghan families new to our community. Her volunteer experience influenced her decision to pursue interpretation as a career: "After that, this job attract me more and more to become the voice of people who have a language barrier."

Building on her education in Afghanistan, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Eiman enrolled in an Interpretation Certificate Course at South Seattle College. Now, Eiman has achieved her goal of becoming a certified professional interpreter. “Being an interpreter is both a rewarding and challenging job,” says Eiman. There will be days when you feel completely satisfied by what you have done and achieved, and there will be moments when you will feel so exhausted and frustrated that you would like to give up and change your profession. This is normal for each and every job.” While it’s a difficult and sometimes demanding job, Eiman feels the rewards from her work far outweigh the challenges: “…the best thing about this job is you constantly learn new things and you learn about culture, habits, and traditions of different people."

The IRC in Seattle is grateful for the opportunity to help newcomers, like Eiman, as they work toward achieving their goals. We thank Eiman for sharing part of her story with the community. Support the IRC’s Economic Empowerment Program by signing up to volunteer or make a donation to support our local work.