Update: Progress and Challenges in Rescuing Afghan Interpreters and Veterans

From the Editor’s Desk, Special Report.

In the aftermath of the fall of Afghanistan, efforts to rescue and support Afghan interpreters, veterans, and their families have been crucial in providing a lifeline to those facing imminent danger and persecution. The tireless work of individuals like CDR Carl Thomas Sullivan and Masae Yonaiyama Sullivan exemplifies the dedication and compassion required to navigate through complex challenges and achieve meaningful outcomes in such critical humanitarian efforts.

Commander Sullivan emerges as the central figure, narrator, and hero in this article, showcasing remarkable dedication to the cause. Let’s delve into the extraordinary efforts that he and a compassionate group of individuals have undertaken—and continue to pursue—on behalf of these unsung heroes.

Recent accomplishments in this ongoing mission highlight both the successes achieved and the ongoing struggles faced by those involved. Among the individuals and families assisted are:

A: Interpreter Family in Kabul (US SIV Visa Applicant)

One interpreter family remains in Kabul, awaiting a US State Department rescue flight. Their journey to safety hinges on swift and decisive action amidst precarious circumstances.

B: Interpreter and Afghan Army Veteran Families in Pakistan

Five families, previously assisted to egress to Pakistan, are now confronting new challenges in their place of refuge. Their safety and security are paramount considerations amidst evolving geopolitical dynamics.

C: Family Affected by Loss

Tragically, one family has suffered the loss of their father, COL Safi, a partner to CDR Carl Thomas Sullivan. Members of this family are currently navigating complex circumstances in Afghanistan and Pakistan, underscoring the deeply personal stakes involved in these rescue efforts.

D: Afghan Army Veteran Families in the US

Two Afghan Army veteran families have successfully reached the United States but continue to require assistance as they transition to new lives and seek to integrate into their new communities.

E: Interpreter Families in France

Two interpreter families have managed to escape to France and are now seeking opportunities for translation work—a testament to the global reach and impact of these efforts.

F: Afghan Human Rights Activist

The support extended to an Afghan human rights activist underscores the broader mission to protect individuals advocating for fundamental freedoms and human dignity.

G: Utah Hazara Community

The Utah Hazara community, representing an Afghan minority group, has received critical support amidst ongoing challenges faced by their community.

On a more focused and sunnier narrative, recent progress includes the successful evacuation of Faiz, an interpreter, and his family, who were able to leave Kabul on a US-sponsored SIV flight to US military facilities in Qatar. Faiz’s passage through the US visa interview process marks a significant milestone, highlighting the collaborative efforts of many individuals and organizations involved in facilitating his journey to safety and freedom.

However, alongside these achievements, setbacks still persist. The complexities of navigating bureaucratic processes, geopolitical realities, and evolving security concerns continue to pose formidable challenges to those engaged in rescue operations. Each setback underscores the urgent need for sustained support and advocacy to safeguard the lives and well-being of Afghan interpreters, veterans, and their families.

Looking ahead, the objectives remain clear: to move those at great risk out of harm’s way, to facilitate opportunities for sustainable livelihoods and new beginnings, and to provide ongoing support to families as they navigate the complexities of resettlement and integration.

As we reflect on the recent accomplishments and challenges faced in these critical humanitarian efforts, we are reminded of the resilience and determination of those involved—their unwavering commitment to uphold the values of compassion, solidarity, and justice in the face of adversity. The path ahead may be fraught with obstacles, but with continued dedication and collective action, we can strive towards a future where safety, dignity, and freedom are accessible to all.

This article acknowledges the invaluable contributions of CDR Carl Thomas Sullivan, Masae Yonaiyama Sullivan, and their collaborators in Rise Beyond Borders, whose unwavering commitment continues to make a profound difference in the lives of Afghan interpreters, veterans, and their families.

In the tumultuous landscape of Afghanistan, where uncertainty looms like a shadow over everyday life, one family’s story of resilience and hope stands out as a testament to the transformative power of human kindness. Meet Faiz, a dedicated interpreter, embarking on a courageous journey towards freedom with his wife and three children.

Faiz’s journey began amidst the chaos and danger of Kabul, where threats against interpreters and their families have become all too common. His invaluable service to the United States military made him a target, and the safety of his loved ones hung in the balance. As the situation escalated, Faiz and his family faced harrowing moments of fear and uncertainty.

However, amidst the turmoil, a ray of hope emerged—a beacon of light brought forth by the generosity and compassion of individuals like yourself committed to making a difference. Your assistance, along with that of many others, ensured Faiz and his family safe passage out of Kabul, away from the looming dangers that threatened their very existence.

As they embarked on their journey towards freedom, the smiles on Faiz’s wife and children’s faces pierced through the dark tunnel of uncertainty. Each step taken represented not just physical movement but also a profound shift towards a future filled with promise and opportunity.

Faiz’s story embodies the resilience of those who refuse to be defined by adversity. It speaks volumes about the profound impact of collective action and the transformative power of kindness. In a world often divided by strife and discord, Faiz’s journey serves as a reminder that hope can flourish even in the most challenging of circumstances.

The support extended to Faiz and his family exemplifies the best of humanity—a reminder that we are all connected by our capacity for empathy and our shared desire for a better world. Through acts of solidarity and compassion, we can rewrite the narratives of those facing unimaginable challenges.

As Faiz and his family settle into their new life, their story continues to inspire others to stand up for what is right and just. Their journey towards freedom is not just theirs alone—it is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring power of hope in the face of adversity.

Not too far removed from Faiz’s story, during moments of danger, families like Shahid’s encountered many hurdles; however, your contributions also provided them with a lifeline. When threats loomed large, your support guaranteed their survival by keeping them out of harm’s way and offering comfort during trying times.

Similarly, on the path to Utah’s embrace, the local community rallied around Captain Zafar and his family with compassion and practical aid. Together they embraced starts and built connections that transcended divides.

Recently, says CDR Carl Sullivan, on April 23rd, we witnessed the successful escape of the last family leader from among the five families. They embarked on a perilous journey reminiscent of the “Sound of Music,” guided by agents through hazardous routes from Pakistan/Afghanistan to Oman. While family members remain in Pakistan and Afghanistan due to the high expenses of relocation, prioritizing the evacuation of family heads was essential. They were under pursuit, facing policies that would have led to their return to Taliban-controlled areas. “Without our assistance, these individuals would have likely been captured and handed over, highlighting the critical nature of our intervention despite the significant sacrifices involved.

CDR Sullivan continues, “Aminullah, the eldest son of Carl’s former Afghan Army partner, COL Muzamil Safi, aged 23, is currently in hiding in Pakistan and facing significant danger and hardship. We have recently established contact with him and are actively exploring options to assist him. Aminullah is a highly intelligent young man, and we are contemplating the possibility of securing a college opportunity for him in the United States. Meanwhile, we continue to provide food assistance to many other family members who remain in Pakistan, underscoring our ongoing commitment to their well-being.

Captain Zafar, a local Utah Afghan special forces member, and his family are making significant strides forward. They have successfully completed applications for Medicaid and Temporary Protected Status (TPS). In addition, three of their sons are enrolled in full-time English classes at Snow College through a community program. At our home, we are providing ESL (English as a Second Language) classes for Captain Zafar and his wife to support their language acquisition. The Manti Utah community has rallied around this family, offering various forms of assistance and becoming a true blessing for the area”, stated Carl.

“One interpreter family is still in Kabul, while another family has successfully relocated to France. Both families are now looking ahead to the next steps in their journey towards reaching the United States. They possess exceptional translation skills in Urdu, Dari, Farsi, and Pashto, making them valuable assets for any organization requiring language services. Employing them not only benefits the hiring company but also contributes directly to life-saving efforts” stated Carl. For further information, please contact CDR Carl Sullivan (details found at the end of this article).

“We have assisted an Afghan Hazara women’s rights activist in her journey to freedom at various stages. Currently, we are seeking individuals who would be interested in reaching out to her and providing support”, claimed CDR Sullivan.

“We remain committed to supporting the local Utah Hazara community, a group targeted for genocide by the Taliban due to their ethnicity and religious beliefs (Shia vs. Sunni). Your assistance enables us to provide crucial aid and protection to these vulnerable individuals, ensuring their safety and well-being in the face of grave threats. Together, we can make a difference and stand against persecution, offering hope and solidarity to those in need”, is the impassioned plea made by CDR Sullivan.

All things being said, the journey is not yet complete. “With the world as our witness”, says Carl, “your ongoing support is more crucial than ever. Each contribution serves as a symbol of optimism, a pledge for days for those whose acts of selflessness resonate through time.

We acknowledge the vast array of pressing needs around us but are currently focusing our efforts on our immediate tasks to ensure success. As we are able, we may expand our reach to address additional challenges.

Our objectives for every legitimate interpreter, Afghan military veteran, and their families within our task group are clear and vital:

1. Safeguard those facing imminent danger by relocating them to safety.

2. Facilitate opportunities for our heroes and their families to establish sustainable lives in a setting of freedom and security.

3. Provide ongoing support to sustain these families throughout their transition.

The fall of Afghanistan stands as a profound tragedy, resulting in untold suffering for countless individuals. Masae and I represent just a small part of the collective efforts being undertaken by thousands of dedicated U.S. veterans to rescue their interpreters and Afghan military partners from perilous circumstances.

Once again, we extend our deepest gratitude for your invaluable support and participation in this critical mission. May God bless you abundantly.”

To learn more about supporting and making an impact through donations please reach out to CDR Carl Thomas Sullivan and Masae Yonaiyama Sullivan at Rise Beyond Borders. Your generosity will pave the way for futures.

Thank you for standing by our Afghan Heroes. Let’s craft this narrative of kindness and transformation side, by side.

If you would like to make a donation, you may do so through the New York Circle of Translators or directly to CDR Carl Thomas Sullivan Sr.

Contact Information:

CDR Carl Thomas Sullivan Sr., US Navy Retired

Disabled Combat Veteran AFG

Former Administrator, Japanese Language Division, American Translators Association

Masae Yonaiyama Sullivan. Owner with Carl, MasaCa Translation Services, LLC

Former Administrator, Japanese Language Division, American Translators Association

Rise Beyond Borders

Sterling, Utah, USA

Carl T. and Masae Yonaiyama Sullivan

MasaCa Translation Services LLC

Email: masacatranslationservices@gmail.com

Website: MasaCaTranslations.squarespace.com

Phone: 801-369-1501

“Bay Ridge Center for Older Adults: Where Laughter, Love, and Bingo Balls Light Up the Path to Community Care and Connection!”

In the heart of Brooklyn, nestled within the vibrant neighborhood of Bay Ridge, overlooking beautiful Veteran’s Bay, lies a haven for older adults, where camaraderie thrives, laughter echoes through the halls, and support flows abundantly. This haven is none other than the Bay Ridge Center for Older Adults, a cornerstone of care and community that, after two years of arduous planning and execution, has recently unveiled its brand-new center at 15 Bay Ridge Ave. Brooklyn.

Last week, the Mayor of New York, Eric Adams, alongside NYC Aging’s Commissioner Lorraine Cortez-Vazquez, graced the Bay Ridge Center for Older Adults with their presence, sparking waves of excitement among its members. Their visit, aimed at listening to the voices and recommendations of the cherished seniors, served as a glowing testament to the exceptional work consistently conducted by the Center’s ‘Dream Team’ of devoted staff. It’s a celebration of the profound impact and unwavering commitment of those who tirelessly strive to create a nurturing haven for our beloved elders, fostering a community where their wisdom is revered and their voices are heard.

Under the visionary leadership of Todd Fliedner, its Executive Director, the Bay Ridge Center has risen to become not just a local gem, but a benchmark for similar centers in New York and nationwide. Todd and his dedicated staff, have nothing but dedication and passion for serving older adults to make this center evolve into a beacon of hope, support, and fun, while showcasing beautiful and functional new facilities.

But let’s not forget who the wonderful persons are that we see in this beautiful center, our dear mothers and fathers, once the steadfast pillars of our lives, now gracefully navigating their golden years, their faces etched with the wisdom of a lifetime’s journey. They’ve weathered storms and basked in sunshine, their love an unyielding beacon that guided us through life’s labyrinth. With gentle hands, they molded us into the individuals we’ve become, imparting lessons of resilience, compassion, and unwavering devotion. Now, as they traverse the tranquil shores of retirement, their laughter resonates amidst the camaraderie of the Bay Ridge Center for Older Adults, where the warmth of companionship envelops them like a familiar embrace.

In the hushed whispers of twilight, our hearts swell with gratitude for the selfless sacrifices of our beloved parents. They’ve traded sleepless nights for lullabies, and youthful dreams for the promise of our brighter tomorrows. Their love knows no bounds, transcending the confines of time and space, weaving a tapestry of cherished memories that adorn the corridors of our minds, and as they find solace in the embrace of kindred spirits, we take solace in knowing that they are surrounded by the same love and care they’ve showered upon us for countless years.

Back at the heart of this center, is its remarkable team of directors, employees, interns, and volunteers, whose unwavering dedication ensures that every member feels valued, heard, and cherished. Their commitment to enhancing the lives of older adults is palpable in every interaction and program offered.

Speaking of programs, the Bay Ridge Center boasts an impressive array of weekly activities tailored to enrich the mind, body, and soul. From guitar lessons that strike a chord with musical enthusiasts to wellness talks that empower individuals to prioritize their health, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

But the offerings don’t stop there. The center organizes visits to many attractions around New York, allowing members to explore and create lasting memories together. In addition, with its large state-of-the-art computer room, the Bay Ridge Center equips older adults with essential computer basics, ensuring they stay connected in today’s digital age.

For those with a creative flair, the art room provides a sanctuary for various crafts, painting sessions, and crocheting circles, fostering self-expression and artistic exploration, and for those seeking to stay active, designated walking routes and a state-of-the-art fitness room catering specifically to the older adult.

Of course, no community center experience is complete without delicious food, and the Bay Ridge Center delivers on that front as well. With on-premises dining and convenient door-to-door meals-on-wheels delivery, members can savor balanced, nutritious and mouthwatering meals without lifting a finger.

The new facilities at 15 Bay Ridge Ave. offer a modern and welcoming environment where members can feel at home. From cozy gathering spaces to accessible amenities, every detail has been carefully curated to enhance the overall experience.

But perhaps the most invaluable offering of the Bay Ridge Center is the sense of belonging and connection it provides. As members come together to embrace the joy, kindness, and camaraderie that permeate the center, friendships blossom, and spirits soar.

However, to sustain this level of care and support, the Bay Ridge Center relies on the generosity of donors and supporters. As we celebrate the opening of this remarkable new center, let us also extend a heartfelt call for donations to ensure that the Bay Ridge Center continues to shine brightly as a beacon of community care and connection for generations to come.

The Bay Ridge Center for Older Adults stands as a testament to the power of compassion, community, and commitment. This center has become more than just a place; it’s a home where older adults can thrive, flourish, and find solace in the company of kindred spirits. So, if you’re a Bay Ridge resident over 60 years old, consider registering to become a member and embrace the abundance of joy, kindness, and amenities that await you at the Bay Ridge Center for Older Adults.

So, in conclusion, may the days of our beloved older parents be filled with laughter, their hearts brimming with joy, and may the echoes of their love resound through the ages, a testament to the enduring legacy of our parents’ devotion.

Bryan Borland… Poet Extraordinaire!

This edition of The Gotham Translator is honored to invite a wonderful poet and a loving person I had the pleasure of meeting through a mutual friend. I was touched by the depth of his poetry. This is but a short bio showcasing the illustrious work performed by Bryan and a few of the accolades he’s received:

Bryan Borland (North Little Rock, Arkansas) is founding publisher of Sibling Rivalry Press and author of My Life as Adam, Less Fortunate Pirates, and DIG, which was honored as a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry and a Stonewall Honor Book in Literature as selected by the American Library Association. Chosen by readers of the Arkansas Times as its inaugural “Best Poet,” most recently he received the Editor’s Prize from the Desert Rat Residency of Palm Desert, California. His work is housed by invitation in the Rare Book and Special Collections Vault of the Library of Congress.

LINEAGE 

There are things you aren’t meant  

to understand.  

The only brother to survive the war  

had twelve children and four generations  

later here you are. 

Decades ago someone fed a dog 

and because of that you have a dog.  

You’ll never know the woman who 

planted the tree but you love her 

because she did. 

MANTRA

Black buzzard, red cardinal,

ruby-throated hummingbird

have love for you.

Rabbit, small and hungry, and full of love for you.

Ladybug you gently rescued from the bucket of water

and the green leaf upon which you rested her have love for you.

Music and electricity have love for you.

Language and words have love for you.

Wooden frame of house and trees who grew it have love for you.

The memory and the forgetting have love for you.

Crow and coyote

have love for you.

Ancestors and yet to be born have love for you.

Old friend has love for you.

Even the enemy has love for you.

The disease and the cure have love for you.

Mystery and explanation have love for you.

Library and mountain have love for you.
Writer and book have love for you.

Mistakes and best intentions have love for you.

Snake who you injured has forgiven you.

Girl who you held holds love for you.

Boy you once were has love for you.

Man you’ve become has love for you.

Moonlight and snowfall have love for you.

Regret and desire have love for you.

Shadow and space are love for you.

Moment of death has love for you.

There is no you who is not loved.

There is no you who is not loved.

There is no you who is not loved.

There is no you who is not love.

INSTRUCTION

If your story had a beginning

it would start not with light

and dark but in the color between

call it shadow call it dawn call it just

before morning waking before your father

when you alone in the world hear existence

into existence before sounds had names

when knowledge was only intuition

and soon the smell of coffee and you

floating with no foothold

no gravity everything miraculous 

your small body this new planet of potential

and possibility oh intelligent fledging

there’s a word for this

you’ll learn and forget many times

WILL

Wondering about the paths these things will

take once I leave for other adventures

the proof of this life picked up along the way or

chosen because they made me think

of someone I loved or a place

the toy robot my brother’s that sits on the shelf

not just a material thing the key to unlocking

Christmas morning 1986 when I wasn’t brotherless

the red-tailed hawk feather found in the field

when I leave for other adventures I leave

behind a thousand locked doors

occasionally to be opened by some well-meaning

artist or nephew who doesn’t yet exist

but who I already and completely love

CHOICES

Back in Arkansas after a week in New York

and the heat is breaking everything. It’s a full-time

job to saturate the ground in water, even more so

a privilege. Molly the dog got a rabbit this morning,

her third of the summer. I atone for our sins by

trying to keep everything else alive. This time

last week I was holding my husband’s hand

in the city. But Ukraine and Gaza and war. How

all this can exist at once, I don’t know. The earth

spins. The sun goes down. We only get

so many chances to choose correctly. 

THINKING OF THOSE WHO LOVED YOU THROUGH

How to tell yourself to keep going—

that what you think is the end is

a spectacular beginning. That

you will change the world in large

and small ways and the small

ways will mean as much

as the large. That you will

see things you wish you could show

everybody who held your hand

along the way. All those people

who were so strong for you

when you needed them

but who in secret cried for your end

that was really a spectacular beginning.

MEDITATING

The quieting of the mind, that meaningless chatter,

the thunderous approaching herd of worries

not yet birthed to body: how many days

does the dog have left, how many do we,

does the boy I wronged still think of me?

Did I kiss my husband enough? Do I make him feel

wanted? Do I make the spirits ashamed when I perform

beneath myself—but quiet all of this and focus

on the breath, the breathing, the space between

the ex and in, and if I need to think of something,

think of stacks of books around me, Bach & family

photographs come to movement and memory,

think of winter blooms & telling friends

how proud I am of them, yes, go by name:

Alana, Lucy, Gustavo, and Guy. Bless

the slow dance to prayer, for my mother, for any

mother, for the woman who wears the blanket

and how she reappears. For the world. Bless

the sounds, don’t tune them out, welcome them, hear

the symphony of being. Of imperfection.

Bless the snags in the fabric, bless sick days

that slow me down. Bless the bad day

at one job that makes me work to find

another job, and bless the job I love

because of that bad day. Bless the real

work of learning to listen and absolution

when I don’t. Bless being gentle on myself

for not believing these words or receiving these

words though I’ve said and heard them so many times:

I apologize & I forgive you & I love you very much.

I apologize & I forgive you & I love you very much.

I apologize & I forgive you & I love you very much.

Bryan Borland is founding publisher of Sibling Rivalry Press and author of DIG, a Stonewall Honor Book as selected by the American Library Association. (www.bryanborland.com)

It’s Back! Spring in New York City!

In a burst of color and energy, spring has returned to New York City, transforming the urban landscape into a dazzling spectacle of life and vitality. As the city shakes off the last vestiges of winter, trees erupt in a riot of blossoms, while gardens burst forth with an array of vibrant flowers, painting the streets with hues of optimism and renewal.

Amidst this explosion of nature’s splendor, a palpable sense of hope permeates the air, infusing the hearts and minds of New Yorkers with a renewed sense of possibility. From bustling neighborhoods to thriving business districts, the city buzzes with excitement as new opportunities emerge on every corner. Entrepreneurs seize the moment, eager to capitalize on the burgeoning energy and breathe life into their ventures.

But it’s not just the business landscape that’s experiencing a renaissance. Love, too, is in the air, as relationships old and new bloom like the flowers in Central Park. As the city awakens from its winter slumber, hearts open to the possibility of romance, and the streets pulse with the electricity of new connections being forged.

Spring’s influence extends beyond the external world, penetrating deep into the fabric of our daily lives. Our bodies, hearts, and minds expand with the promise of the season, embracing the endless potential that lies ahead. This newfound sense of vitality is reflected in our choice of attire, as we don vibrant colors and lightweight fabrics, mirroring the exuberance of the natural world around us.

As New York City dons its green and colorful spring attire, attention turns to the beauty of our surroundings. From the majestic skyscrapers of Manhattan to the charming brownstones of Brooklyn, the city comes alive with the vibrant energy of the season. We find ourselves drawn to the company of friends, laughing and flowing with the pulsating rhythm of the city, toasting to the joys of life and camaraderie.

But amidst the festivities, a call to action beckons from within. Fitness enthusiasts heed the call, recommitting themselves to forgotten resolutions made in the excitement of the new year. The streets teem with activity as joggers pound the pavement and cyclists weave through traffic, driven by a renewed sense of purpose and determination.

As the days grow longer and the nights more intense, the promise of more hangs tantalizingly in the air. From the towering skyscrapers to the quaint brownstones, the mantra “Yes, you can!” reverberates, motivating us to reach for the stars and seize every opportunity that comes our way.

In conclusion, as spring asserts its vibrant spirit across New York City, the stage is set for a season of boundless growth, connection, and possibility. With hearts and minds ablaze with excitement, we embrace the endless potential that lies ahead, confident that the best is yet to come. So let us raise a toast to the arrival of spring and all the wonders it brings, for in its embrace, anything is possible!

Unsung Heroes: The Plight of War Interpreters

In the environment of war, where the sounds of battle drown out the cries of the vulnerable, there exist individuals who bridge connections among people from diverse backgrounds and beliefs. These interpreters, unrecognized heroes in present day conflicts exhibit remarkable bravery and resilience amidst all the turmoil and uncertainty.

As focus shifts and headlines lose prominence, it is vital to recognize these courageous individuals whose lives are in jeopardy. Among them are Afghan interpreters who face risks for supporting foreign forces in their homeland.

Beyond the realm of maneuvers and military operations, a smaller group like CDR Carl Thomas Sullivan Sr., a retired US Navy officer, alongside his companions stand as symbols of hope and solidarity. They are part of a network comprising veterans, civilians and allies who refuse to overlook those who have given up everything to stand by their side.

During times of doubt and danger, these heroes tirelessly coordinate rescue missions extend assistance and serve as a lifeline to those trapped in the chaos of conflict.

Through each email sent out, every phone call made, and every donation received, they inch closer to ensuring the safety of their comrades—shielding them from the looming threats of persecution and death.

Their mission is formidable; however, their resolve remains steadfast. From coordinating trips to distant lands, to ensuring the welfare of displaced families, their efforts span across continents and communities bound by a shared sense of duty and companionship.

Yet hidden within the urgency of their cause lies a reality. The stories of these unsung heroes often remain untold. While attention shifts elsewhere, they persist in their struggle on multiple fronts advocating for those silenced by conflict and upheaval.

Their message is simple yet profound, calling for unity, assistance, and recognition of the sacrifices made by interpreters and their families. They are not seeking praise or admiration; rather, they seek action and effort to ensure no interpreter is abandoned to ruthless adversaries.

For those with language skills and empathy willing to lend a helping hand the call is clear. Your expertise, time, and resources have the power to make a difference in the lives of those who have risked everything for peace and mutual understanding.

To Captain Carl Thomas Sullivan Sr., his comrades in arms, and all others standing shoulder to shoulder with them, we express our gratitude. Their unwavering commitment to their translators exemplifies the resilience of human spirit even amidst adversity. As the world watches and waits, let us take a moment to honor the heroes who work tirelessly behind the scenes striving to change the narrative of conflict through acts of kindness, courage, and unity. If you feel moved to show support for our translators who are in need of compassion, please consider donating to the New York Circle of Translators. All contributions will be overseen by Captain Carl Thomas Sullivan Sr. for immediate distribution.

Together, we hold the power to shape a future that embraces diversity and potential. It’s a world where every voice is valued regardless of language or borders. Let us embrace this vision as more than a dream but as a shared journey, towards a brighter tomorrow where diversity is celebrated and unity thrives among our trusted, but often overlooked and unsung heroes.

REPORT: ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING OF THE NEW YORK CIRCLE OF TRANSLATORS (NYCT)

On January 29, 2024, the Annual Business Meeting of the New York Circle of Translators (NYCT) took place at the Independent Translators Union headquarters. The meeting was attended by a diverse group of experienced translators and interpreters, students, and translation agency owners, representing various languages, specialties, and companies. The event was chaired by the newly elected members of the NYCT Board of Directors.

The meeting began with a warm welcome from the Board members, who introduced themselves and outlined the agenda for the evening. A PowerPoint presentation provided attendees with an overview of the Association’s activities and achievements in 2023, along with year-end financial results.

The recently appointed Editor, Rodrigo Sandoval, was asked to take the floor to formally introduce himself, alongside his assistant Editor, Ms. Beatriz Cerveira. With palpable enthusiasm, Rodrigo extended a warm welcome to all attendees, expressing heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity to serve in their new roles. Amidst the atmosphere of anticipation, Rodrigo encouraged each participant to contribute to the vibrant discourse by submitting articles for publication or proposing compelling topics for future exploration. He indicated that “Shaping the editorial direction and content of our publication, The Gotham Translator, is a task meant for all of us”.

Key milestones were highlighted in the presentation, such as the growth in membership numbers, successful initiatives like the proposal of a Code of Conduct, and the ongoing support from the Stern Fund for Member Professional Development. Attendees were encouraged to engage in discussions, ask questions, and share recommendations for future endeavors.

Networking and Discussions

Delicious snacks and refreshments were provided, fostering a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere conducive to networking and collaboration. Attendees took advantage of the opportunity to connect with other language professionals, exchange ideas and experiences, and forge new partnerships.

Lively debates ensued, covering a wide range of topics related to translation and interpretation, professional development, and industry trends. Attendees expressed appreciation for the opportunity to gather and exchange ideas, fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual support within the NYCT community.

Membership Statistics

Membership in the NYCT experienced a significant increase in 2023, reflecting growing interest and recognition of the Association’s value among language professionals in the region. In contrast, the American Translators Association (ATA) witnessed a decline in membership during the same period, underscoring the unique appeal and effectiveness of the NYCT within the local translator community.

As of December 31, 2023, the NYCT boasted a substantial number of individual and corporate members, while the ATA reported a slowdown in its membership ranks.

Code of Conduct Proposal

A notable development in 2023 was the proposal of a Code of Conduct within the NYCT. This initiative aims to establish clear guidelines and ethical standards for members, enhancing professionalism and integrity within the Association. The Code of Conduct reflects the NYCT’s commitment to maintaining high practice standards and fostering trust among stakeholders.

Stern Fund for Professional Development

The Stern Fund continued to play a crucial role in supporting the professional development of translators and interpreters within the NYCT community. This grant, available to both experienced professionals and students, allows recipients to pursue advanced training, attend conferences, and participate in other activities aimed at expanding their skills and knowledge. The Stern Fund underscores the NYCT’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of professional excellence and innovation.

Networking Events and Programs

Throughout 2023, the NYCT organized a series of events, workshops, and networking programs designed to facilitate member advancement and foster meaningful connections within the field of translation and interpretation.

Guest Speaker Conferences: The NYCT invited an interesting array of guest speakers to present lectures on topics aimed at enhancing translators’ skills and staying abreast of industry trends.

In addition, an event is planned for February 26: a meeting at Hunter College. Next month, the NYCT will host a gathering at Hunter College, providing members with the opportunity to build relationships and exchange ideas in a highly collaborative environment. Visit the NYCT’s webpage for further information.

Financial Performance

The financial performance of the NYCT remained strong in 2023, enabling the Association to invest in its members and expand its range of offerings. Solid finances reflect the effectiveness of NYCT initiatives and the support of its members, partners, and leadership.

Recommendations

Given the dynamic landscape of the translation and interpretation industry, the NYCT encourages all language professionals to explore growth and collaboration opportunities. In particular, the Independent Translators Union offers a wealth of resources and networking opportunities for freelance translators and interpreters. With its free membership, diverse development programs, and access to coworking spaces, the Freelancers Union presents an invaluable resource for individuals looking to enhance their skills and expand their professional networks.

For more information about the Freelancers Union and its offerings, please visit www.freelancersunion.org.

Conclusion

The NYCT’s Annual Business Meeting was a resounding success, thanks to the active participation of attendees and the dedication of both outgoing and newly elected Board members. The event provided a valuable platform for reflection, debate, and planning, laying the groundwork for continued growth and success in the coming year.

As the meeting concluded at 7:45 p.m., attendees departed feeling inspired and encouraged, with a renewed sense of purpose and anticipation for future events and initiatives. The NYCT remains committed to serving its members and advancing the field of translation and interpretation, guided by the principles of professionalism, collaboration, and excellence, fostering a vibrant and inclusive professional community in the New York area.

NYCT’S FESTIVE FIESTA: UNLEASHING JOY AT THE 2023 CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA!

That time of the year has come and gone again! Bright lights adorned the streets of the Big Apple, snowflakes danced in the cold air, and hearts were filled with joy and anticipation. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it was the holiday season in New York, and the New York Circle of Translators (NYCT) didn’t miss out on the celebration!

On December 9, 2023, the NYCT held its annual Christmas party, and let me tell you, it was quite a spectacle! The venue was lit up with the warmth of the season as translators, interpreters, and representatives from translation agencies across the city gathered to enjoy an afternoon of fun, food, and camaraderie.

The party kicked off with a delicious Middle Eastern feast that delighted the palates of all present. From falafel to hummus, and fresh tabbouleh, there was something to satisfy even the most discerning of eaters. As we savored these culinary delights, lively conversations filled the room, creating a festive and welcoming atmosphere.

Of course, a photo session couldn’t be missed. Attendees gathered to capture the special moments of the luncheon, and some of these snapshots are included in this inaugural edition of the year 2024. You definitely have to check them out to relive the memories!

The party was filled with laughter and joy. Poems were recited, songs were sung, and connections were made that are sure to last well beyond the holiday season. Long-time members mingled with newcomers, sharing experiences and anecdotes in a spirit of joy and mutual support.

One of the highlights of the night was when the outgoing Board was thanked for their hard work and dedication, and the incoming Board was enthusiastically welcomed. There were applause and cheers as the baton was passed to lead the NYCT towards new horizons!

The new Board wasted no time and seized the opportunity to urge all members to collaborate on presenting relevant articles for the industry. Because, as we all know, in the world of translation and interpretation, there are stories to tell, and we all have them: from moments when everything went perfectly to those when things got complicated due to our lack of experience, we all have anecdotes to share! And what better way to learn and grow than by sharing our experiences with colleagues who understand exactly the challenges we face.

So, dear colleagues, get ready to get creative and share those stories that only translators and interpreters can have! Because together, we can learn, grow, and strengthen our professional community.

And speaking of community, how about keeping more frequent meetings of the NYCT? Some suggested that it would be an excellent idea to keep the camaraderie and knowledge exchange alive throughout the year! Do you agree? Let us know in the comments!

In conclusion, the NYCT Christmas bash was an absolute blast, brimming with delectable cuisine, contagious laughter, vibrant melodies, and an unparalleled sense of camaraderie! Here’s to countless more gatherings teeming with unforgettable moments and to an electrifyingly fulfilling and wildly successful 2024, both personally and professionally! Cheers to the adventures that await! 🥂🎉