The change in Afghanistan that occurred last August, came at the speed of lightening. The horrific scenes of Afghans desperate to flee their country shocked the world. More than 70,000 Afghans have been temporarily accommodated at seven bases across the U.S. where they received their health check ups and vaccinations and their initial immigration process was started.
These Afghan individuals and families are now being disbursed to various states gradually. This resettlement process is expected to be completed by summer of 2022 during which time, South Carolina will host 200 Afghan refugees. PICNA and its partner Masjid Noor Ul Huda met with management of Lutheran Services of Carolinas, the premiere agency handling refugee rehabilitation in the Carolinas, to discuss co-sponsorship of one or more Afghan families. As a result of the initiative, we received our first Afghan family of nine members at Columbia Airport. They have been temporarily accommodated at the Lutheran Services Guest House while long term housing is being arranged for them.
It is pertinent to mention here that most of the Afghans who have arrived in the U.S. as a result of change in Afghan Government, are well educated and have a good socio-economical background. They were directly or indirectly connected with the American Forces providing interpretation or other services. We have been assisting the Afghan families in transportation, cultural orientation as well as their religious and spiritual needs, especially bringing them to Friday’s congregational prayers.
We are blessed that we have great outdoor facilities at Masjid Noor Ul Huda beside a decent Prayer Hall. Among these amenities are a soccer field, basketball and badminton courts along with kids play area and lot of greenery and plantation. Hence we decided to arrange a Meet & Greet Family Day at Masjid Noor Ul Huda on December 11, for all the newly arrived Afghans. It was a huge fun day for the Afghan families as well as hosting families. The event started with lunch comprising of delicious Afghan and other eastern dishes. After prayers, men, women and children were entertained with their favorite games. The most popular game among men proved to be cricket wherein we discovered quite a few talented stars. The women liked badminton most while children enjoyed endless rides in their play area. As a family fun, kids races were most enjoyed and the prizes were highly appreciated. All in all, over one hundred guests, hosts and sponsors had a fun-filled, exciting time at this unique event.
We feel that it is a moral and civic duty of affluent members of our society to reach out to the refugees and to help them resettle honorably in their new communities. This is indeed a very worthy humanitarian cause and a great way to be thankful to the Almighty for countless blessings He has bestowed upon us.
*** PICNA’s partner, Masjid Noor Ul Huda has established a Social Welfare Fund to fulfill the needs of Afghan and other needy families. Anyone desirous of donating to this Fund is advised to contact Asim Siddique at 803-719-1112 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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