Afghan translator who helped U.S. escapes terror of war in Middle East, making new start in JoCo

LENEXA, Kan. --  Shoaib Sahiby was born on the battlefields of Afghanistan, but now he calls Johnson County home.

“I’ve lived half of my life, more than half of my life, in war,” the 30-year-old told FOX 4.

As a very young boy, Sahiby watched the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan. His innocent childhood quickly turned into a walking nightmare.

“Women, for just not having their veil properly worn, she’s going to be killed,” he said.

And with the Taliban torturing and even killing anyone who dared to speak English in Afghanistan, Sahiby risked his life to learn the language -- a daring move that would ultimately be his salvation.

Shoaib Sahiby

“We were always scared of the Taliban for coming and beating people for just learning a language,” Sahiby said. “I started to be an interpreter, and it paid off."

When U.S. forces arrived in Afghanistan after 9/11, Sahiby became a powerful weapon to fight the Taliban. He knew the terrain and could speak several languages.

“I was interpreting for NATO, for the U.S. government, and I was working for the U.S. companies,” he said. “I never gave up.”

Sahiby’s work as a translator eventually made him too much of a target, so he moved to Merriam, Kansas, 14 months ago.

Because of his service to America, he’s a permanent resident, with a green card and now works at Lakeview Village in Lenexa.

But he’s determined to one day end the war on terror in his homeland.

“And head back to Afghanistan and help my U.S. colleagues and bring peace and Afghanistan,” he said.