Moulton State of the Union Guest is Ehsanullah Nizami, an Interpreter Who Served U.S. Forces in Afghanistan
SALEM, Mass. – Today, Congressman Seth Moulton is being joined (virtually) by Ehsanullah Nizami at President Biden’s State of the Union address.
Mr. Nizami served as an interpreter for American forces in Kabul, Helmand, and Panjshir provinces in Afghanistan between 2010-2014. He served primarily with the U.S. Marines and also served with the U.S. Army. Mr. Nizami came to the U.S. in 2014 on a special immigrant visa and became a naturalized U.S. Citizen on August 8, 2021.
Mr. Nizami’s wife, mother and two sisters remain in Afghanistan with their own families, including a former U.S. contractor. Two of his brothers were able to leave Afghanistan, but are now stuck in third countries, including one facing severe health issues in Pakistan.
Mr. Nizami now focuses his attention on providing social and cultural support to evacuees resettled on the North Shore of Massachusetts.
“It is a great honor to be joined by Ehsanullah Nizami tonight. Despite the great risks to himself and his family, Ehsanullah’s service to the United States was invaluable to the safety of American service members in Afghanistan. His service continues today as he helps Afghan refugees settle in Massachusetts,” Congressman Moulton said. “Unfortunately, too many allies who served with American forces – and their families – remain in Afghanistan and are targets of the Taliban. This issue is personal for American veterans. I will continue to do everything I can to make sure these brave allies are not left behind.”
In February, Mr. Nizami brought Congressman Moulton’s staff to meet with Afghan evacuees who were resettled to Beverly, Mass. The families expressed many concerns, interpreted by Mr. Nizami, including adjustment to their new environment, linguistic challenges, housing, documentation issues, and accessibility to employment.
“I am pleased by the announcement of Ehsan Nizami's invitation from Congressman Moulton to the State of the Union,” said Natasha Soolkin, Executive Director, New American Association of Massachusetts. “At the New American Association of Massachusetts, we know through our work with newly arriving Afghan families how wonderful and motivated so many of them are to become active citizens and contribute to society. As a Commonwealth, we have an obligation to support them as much as we can to find solutions to affordable housing and to reunite them with their loved ones.”
Reverend Jarred Mercer, Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Newburyport, added: “Housing 19 Afghan evacuees in our church’s converted classroom space and helping to support 21 other new arrivals in our city in partnership with other churches and groups, has been a privilege and blessing in our community.
“The call to do all we can to love and support these friends, whose lives have been put in grave danger in their home country because oftheir relationship to ours, is a moral imperative of our time—and this includes creating opportunities for permanent housing and pathways to settle and flourish in our society.
“Generations will look back to see how we responded to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and how we welcomed those who have been brought to our country, our neighborhoods, schools, and local communities. This isn’t about politics; it can’t be a partisan issue. This is about love of neighbor—about becoming more generous, gracious, and loving people—it’s about deciding what kind of human society we want to be and become.”
Seth Moulton represents Massachusetts 6th Congressional District. He sits on the House Armed Services, Budget, and Transportation and Infrastructure committees. Congressman Moulton served four tours in Iraq as a Marine Corps infantry officer.