39 – Fahim Fazli: Actor, Author, Warrior, & Patriot (with Michael Moffett)

Fahim FazliFahim Fazli is a man of two worlds: Afghanistan, the country of his birth, and America, the nation he adopted and learned to love. He’s also a man who escaped oppression, found his dream profession, and then paid it all forward by returning to Afghanistan as an interpreter with the U.S. Marines.

When Fahim speaks, the story he tells is harrowing, fascinating, and inspiring. Born and raised in Kabul, Fahim saw his country and family torn apart by revolution and civil war. Dodging Afghan authorities and informers with his father and brother, Fahim made his way across the border to Pakistan and then to America. After reuniting with his mother, sisters, and another brother, he moved to California with dreams of an acting career.

After 15 turbulent years that included two unsuccessful arranged marriages to Afghan brides, he finally qualified for membership in the Screen Actors Guild—and found true American love. Though Fahim’s California life was happy and rewarding, he kept thinking about the battlefields of Afghanistan. Haunted by a desire to serve his adopted country, he became a combat linguist.

While other interpreters opted for safe assignments, Fahim chose one of the most dangerous: working with the Leathernecks in the embattled Helmand Province, where his outgoing personality and deep cultural understanding made him a favorite of both Marines and local Afghans—and a pariah to the Taliban, who put a price on his head.Fahim Speaks

Fahim Speaks is an inspiring story of perseverance and patriotism—and of the special love that one man developed for his adopted country.  You can purchase his memoir Fahim Speaks here.

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Michael MoffettA native Granite Stater, Michael Moffett has taught history and management courses on the high school, community college, and university levels.  Moffett also served on active duty with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment  from 1983-85.

He returned to active duty in 1990 as commanding officer for the Marine Reserve Detachment out of Topsham, Maine, later designated as A-Company of the 1st Battalion, 25th Marines. Captain Moffett led these Marines to the Persian Gulf where they were attached to the 1st Marine Division for Operation Desert Storm and the liberation of Kuwait.

LtCol Moffett again returned to active duty after the 9/11 attacks, serving on General Tommy Franks’ Operations Staff at Central Command.   LtCol Moffett later served as Director of the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program’s (MECEP) Prep School from 2003-2008.

He joined Marine Corps University’s History Division in 2008, where he co-authored a monograph on the history of the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center with Major General Orlo Steele (USMC, retired). In January 2010, LtCol Moffett received one-year orders to serve as a field historian in Afghanistan.

After retiring from the Marine Corps Reserve in 2011, Professor Moffett returned to Concord, N.H., where he teaches at the New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI-Concord)

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