Arab Interpreter Quits, Blames Racial Tension

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – An Egyptian interpreter at the Defense Language Institute claims he was harassed by his Russian supervisors, who forced him to resign by treating him as a second-class citizen.

     Because of the Cold War, the institute has long been dominated by Russian-speaking employees. More recently, however, the Iraq War has created a demand for Arabic-speaking interpreters.
     Mohamed Abouelhassan was hired as one of these interpreters. He says the historic strains between Russia and Egypt, through their benefactor-client relationship, have led many Russians to view Egyptians as second-class citizens.
     Abouelhassan claims he “faced continuing and ongoing discrimination since the first day of his employment.” It was so bad, he says, that he felt compelled to resign.
     He was allegedly replaced with a Russian interpreter who ranked the same, but was offered a higher salary.
     He demands back pay and benefits, plus actual and punitive damages. His attorney is Mark Malachowski.
     Defendants are the U.S. government, Army Secretary Pete Geren, the Department of Defense and Elena Levintova Allison, Abouelhassan’s former supervisor.

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