CAIR San Diego helps Afghan refugees transition to American life

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SAN DIEGO — Hundreds of Afghan families who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover are now adjusting to American life in San Diego.

The Council on American-Islamic relations, also known as CAIR, has been helping families transition and reunite with separated family members.

Tazheen Nizam, associate executive director with CAIR San Diego, said there are a lot of gaps, despite the help they received from resettlement agencies. She says they are helping over 50 Afghan families with translation, documentation and other resources needed to adjust.

“The acclimation process to the American way of life is a difficult process for new immigrants, always, especially with these families,” Nizam said. “When they come, they don’t have any resources.”

One of the immigrants at the workshop, Negina Sarwani, fled Afghanistan with her husband while she was nine months pregnant.

“I delivered the baby in Virginia, then we shift to California and she is one month,” Sarwani said.   

Sarwani says her husband was one of the thousands of Afghans who risked their life helping U.S troops during the war, leaving them no choice but to flee.  

“If they find a military person, so they want to kill them,” she said.

The couple is now living in a hotel and say they are slowly adjusting to American life with help from non-profits like CAIR.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Nathan Fletcher also stated his support for CAIR and the Muslim residents across San Diego County.

“Our County embraces the diversity and contributions of immigrants, including our Muslim community members and what they do to enrich the fabric of our communities and they deserve to be treated with respect,” he said.

If you would like to help CAIR San Diego, visit their volunteer page.

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