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September 20, 2018

Sudan ‘Lost Boy’ Becomes U.S. Citizen And Empire Interpreting Quadrilingual Interpreter


Dominic Mathiangson, originally one of the “Lost Boys” of Southern Sudan, became a U.S. Citizen on March 24 and he is employed as an interpreter with Empire Interpreting Service said Theresa Slater, EIS president. “Dominic’s story of survival and success is both incredible and compelling. We were thrilled to be present when he took his oath of citizenship and are delighted to have him on our team as one of our spoken language interpreters.”

Dominic Mathiangson, originally one of the “Lost Boys” of Southern Sudan, became a U.S. Citizen on March 24 and he is employed as an interpreter with Empire Interpreting Service said Theresa Slater, EIS president. Here Mathiangson, center, is congratulated on becoming a U.S. Citizen by his colleagues from Empire Interpreting (from left) Jay Weeks, Corissa Widger, Kesar Nuon, Stacey Short, and Theresa Slater.

In addition to English, Mathiangson speaks Dinka, Arabic and Kiswahili, Slater said. He also works as a patient care technician at St. Joseph Hospital Health Center’s Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program.

A 1983 civil war in Southern Sudan forced Mathiangson to flee his country.  According to the biography he submitted to U.S.  Immigration Services:“The government of Sudan ordered the Arab militias… to disrupt and destroy everything in Southern Sudan that results in the killing of 2.5 million lives and displace many people, raping, burning of houses, taking of the animals and kidnapping the young boys from the South.

“I was spared. Thank be to Almighty God for the protection. I escaped and ended up in Ethiopia, living there for four years…That is how I left Sudan at the age of 8. My parents didn’t know what happened to me, they searched for me everywhere or to find my body…They know in their minds, if I was alive, I would be in Northern Sudan where many kids were taken. My parents wouldn’t have thought of me being alive and in America.”

When war broke out in Ethiopia in 1991, Mathiangson was forced to flee that country. His biography continues: “Many of us (The Lost Boys) fled and crossed the river Gilo. A number of people drowned in that river, and half of our population is thought to have died in it.” Mathiangson lived in the Kenya-Kakuma refugee camp for 12 years where he finished his high school education and worked for the National Council of Churches of Kenya as a peer counselor and advocate for youth.

“I came to America on Dec. 8 2004, not knowing anyone here in Syracuse when I came, but I had great hope that I would survive like I had done in the refugee camps,” his bio states. “My goal here in America is to be a good and loyal citizen and serve this great nation with all my effort.”

In 2009, Mathiangson was able to return to Nairobi, Kenya and see his mother for the first time in 20 years. There, he met and married his wife. He was unable to see his father who was still in war-torn Sudan. “I hope to unite with my family soon,” Mathiangson said. “My wife and mother are still in Nairobi.”

Headquartered in Syracuse, EIS is a certified woman owned business enterprise with more than 200 professional Interpreters offering services in American Sign Language, 160 spoken languages, and document translations from business brochures to entire websites. With interpreters in every major city throughout New York State, EIS has grown its reach of service to cover not only New York, but also its’ neighboring states.

“We provide professional and effective communication to our communities in the medical, mental health, legal and civic events areas,” Slater said. “We also serve the education community from pre-school to PhD programs.  An exciting part of our growth right now is the expansion into international markets. We are filling gaps by providing 24/7 over-the-phone spoken language interpreting and by sending Sign Language Interpreters into countries unable to find the resources they need (for communication).

“In addition, we provide in-service training to teach not only the mechanics of how to use an interpreter, but the cultural sensitivities involved, especially when doing business internationally.

EIS is a member of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, the NationalAssociation of the Deaf, and the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators. For further information, EIS can be contacted in Manhattan at (914) 819-5526, in Syracuse at (315) 472-1383, their financial office in Homer at (607) 753-8338, or on line at www.empireinterpreting.com.

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