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HomeNewsWorld NewsFrom Kabul to Kentucky: Afghans {deposit} roots in refugee haven

From Kabul to Kentucky: Afghans {deposit} roots in refugee haven

FILE PHOTO: Mirwais Khan Zadran, 2, uses the computer at the library in Bowling Green, Kentucky, U.S., November 27 2021. The Zadran family, Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban, {found} Bowling Green {following a} spell at {a fresh} Mexico military base. {They secured {a residence} and the children {have already been} sent to school,|They secured a homely house and {the kids} have been {delivered to} school,} {by using} local resettlement agency, the International Center. REUTERS/Amira Karaoud

December 23, 2021

By Amira Karaoud and Mary Milliken

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Reuters) – After exhausting journeys that took them from Kabul to Qatar to European cities to U.S. military bases, Afghan families fleeing the Taliban alighted in Kentucky, in {a little} city {amply trained} in receiving refugees.

Bowling Green has welcomed waves of refugees over four decades, {{you start with} the Cambodians in the 1980s {and} Bosnians in the 1990s,|{you start with} the Cambodians in the 1980s and Bosnians in the 1990s then,} plus Iraqis, Burmese, {Rwandese and Congolese {among others},|Congolese and rwandese {among others},} {{who’ve} helped make {the town} of 72,|{who’ve} helped make the populous city of 72,} {000 a diverse and thriving place economically.}

Wazir Khan Zadran was a tribal leader who fought {twenty years} ago {contrary to the} Haqqani network, {a robust} faction within the Taliban. {Although he {recently} {caused} a non-governmental organization,|Although he more {caused} a non-governmental organization recently,} {the Taliban was known by him would come for him.}

Zadran said the Americans saved him and his family by picking them up in a Chinook helicopter in August and taking them to the Kabul airport. {Following a} spell at {a fresh} Mexico military base, {{these were} {delivered to} Bowling Green and quickly realized {that they had} lucked out {within their} new American lives.|{these were} {delivered to} Bowling Green and realized {that they had} lucked out {within their} new American lives quickly.}

(See for {an image} package on Zadran {along with other} refugees)

“{We have been} so happy in Bowling Green,” said the 41-year-old father, who has secured {a cushty} house and sent his children to school with {the help of} {the neighborhood} resettlement agency, the International Center, founded in 1981.

“Also, {the neighborhood} community is helping us and introducing the culture to us,” Zadran added.

His six children are learning songs in English, sending “Dear Santa” letters off, {likely to} the library and lapping up ice cream at Baskin-Robbins.

In the aftermath of rising anti-immigrant and refugee sentiment {through the} Trump administration, {{america} government {is currently} handling its biggest refugee evacuation since Vietnam.|{america} government is handling its biggest refugee evacuation since Vietnam now.} {Of the 75 nearly,}000 {likely to} settle in America, {Year 2022 bowling Green will receive 350 Afghans in fiscal.}


{There are many} jobs for new residents of Bowling Green,|

{You can find} of jobs for new residents of Bowling Green plenty,} an agricultural and manufacturing hub, perhaps {most widely known} for the assembly plant {which makes} the coveted Corvette {sports vehicle}. The Bosnians, {who number around 10 now,}000 and own several companies, {verify} {the nice} job prospects {once the} Afghans’ expedited work permits {get to} coming months.

“In 2000 when I came here, I arrived with {several} suitcases and two infant children and {my partner},” said Tahir Zukic, a Bosnian from Srebrenica who owns Taz Trucking, employing 100 people and 140 trucks.


“It’s absolutely {an incredible} place to be,|absolutely an amazing {spot to} be

“It’s,} {with {plenty of} opportunity {and you may} just do {everything you} like to do.|with {plenty of} opportunity {and you may} do what you {prefer to} do just.}”

{For individuals who} did not {use} the Americans in Afghanistan, learning the language {may be the} toughest part of adapting to their new home, Zukic said. {{However they} also must {understand how} America works,|{However they} must {understand how} America works also,} how to drive, how to get a credit card. And what to do when tornadoes approach.

The twisters that tore through Kentucky this month jolted the Afghans’ sense of security. {These were} confounded by the 1 a.m. sirens that reminded them of Kabul and shocked by the uprooted trees, {roofs {cheated} houses and deaths {in a single} neighborhood home {to numerous} immigrants.|roofs {cheated} deaths and houses {in a single} neighborhood home {to numerous} immigrants.}

“We never saw a storm {such as this} before {inside our} life in Afghanistan, {so we felt maybe we were {likely to} another war,|so we felt we were {likely to} another war maybe,}” Zadran said. “But God saved us.”


Firas Majeed {found its way to} Bowling Green from Baghdad via Brooklyn, {NY}, in 2016. The Iraqi refugee {found} {go to a|search for a} friend and decided “{that is} my place.” He now co-owns a {supermarket} stocked with Middle Eastern and European foods after working as a welder.

“{The grade of} life is {greater than} in the big cities,” said Majeed, who appreciates the big skies and verdant farms around Bowling Green, strong job market, low rents and {health care}.

Majeed said the Afghans will get a lot of support because everyone saw the images of the chaotic evacuation from Kabul. {{They can be|They could be} taught by the Iraqis things,} like how to get a driver’s license.

Bowling Green {can be} a place {which allows} refugees {to carry} onto their identities while becoming Americans – {supplying a} socially conservative environment {to improve} families and practice religions.

At the Forest Park Baptist Church, {Congolese refugees have breathed {new lease of life} into the community.|Congolese refugees have breathed {new lease of life} {in to the} grouped community.} {Worship services and Bible study are translated into Swahili and sometimes held {for the reason that|because} language.|Worship services and Bible study are translated into Swahili and held {for the reason that} language sometimes.}

“We love their gospel singing,” said church leader Mike Givens, and the church translates their songs so everyone hears the message.

“Our community has changed, so if we {usually do not} seek or {follow} the immigrant population, {our church {won’t} survive,|our church shall not survive,}” added Givens.

{at the Zadran house

Back,} {{the kids} make quick progress {making use of their} new culture.|the {small children} make quick progress {making use of their} new culture.} The eldest, Zuleikha, teaches her siblings a song in English with the lyrics “{What exactly are} you thankful for?”

{Because they} applaud {their very own} performance, Zuleikha declares “Finished!{” and flashes {a broad} grin.|flashes and ” {a broad} grin.}

(Reporting by Amira Karaoud and Mary Milliken; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)


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