Afghan Moms Receive a Fresh Start in the United States

Credit: UNHCRBy Lori Silberman BraunerTEANECK, New Jersey, Apr 26 2022 (IPS) It was a long, harrowing road for Freshta and Shabaneh, two mothers (their names are pseudonyms) who fled Kabul, Afghanistan, late last summer before eventually settling in the southern New Jersey township of Hamilton. Shabaneh, 30, the mother of three boys who was then between four and five months pregnant, recalls her flight out of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport on a U.S. army plane under less-than-optimal conditions. Whatever seats had been in place had been removed from the plane to accommodate all the passengers, and she had no choice but to sit with her kids on plastic bags on the floor. “They were crying and I was nauseous,” she said through a translator. “I was feeling terrible.” Freshta, 27, a medical student who fled the country with her husband and three kids, was then between two and three months pregnant. Before leaving, she had to pass through checkpoints manned by the Taliban, who questioned her paperwork, hassling her before she bravely told them: “Put your guns away, there are children here.” The two families were among the more than 84,600 Afghan nationals, American citizens, and Lawful Permanent Residents who (as of Feb. 19) have arrived in the United States as part of Operation Allies Welcome, the coordinated federal government effort to support and resettle Afghan refugees — including those who worked on behalf of the United States — with more tha...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Aid Armed Conflicts Asia-Pacific Development & Aid Education Gender Headlines Health Human Rights Labour TerraViva United Nations IPS UN Bureau Source Type: news