Unable to find work, Murad is desperate not to seem like a burden on society but is frustrated with what the American government has offered him. "We want to start our life again here," he said. "If someone just hire[s] us, that mean[s] we can make money. We can spend our money. Now, we don't feel we are human."
Faler, who shares Murad's frustration at the lack of infrastructure, said, "Here they are, they're safe. Nobody's shooting at them anymore, no one's threatening to kidnap them. But now what?"
Yousra said her "sponsor tried to call one of the senators and they said, 'Well, she should be satisfied that she's here.' Well, what's the point of being here if they're just dumped here and no one is asking how they are doing, where they are living, what they are eating?"
The State Department is now offering assistance with basic living needs for up to eight months to translators who entered the United States after Dec. 27, 2007. But that assistance does not apply to more than 500 translators who arrived before that date.
And, so, despite the danger, the translators are going back, one by one. This month Yousra left her family and is now back in Iraq, serving alongside U.S. troops.
Murad will return to Iraq in the coming weeks. "I'm sure they are waiting to return back to kill me," Murad said. "But I don't care."
Until there is a better solution, Murad, Yousra and the others will take their chances in a war zone.