Family who fled Afghanistan celebrates first Christmas in Kansas

Published: Dec. 24, 2021 at 5:06 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The holidays are a time for gathering with family. This year, with the help of local Wichita groups, some Afghan refugees are celebrating their first Christmas in a new country.

Ahmad is one of them. He and his family just arrived in the United States. Those who helped make it happen, are calling it a Christmas miracle.

Amhad and his family are ecstatic and thankful after the long journey from Afghanistan to America.

“All of Afghans are grateful for the United States people,” said Ahmad.

Back in August, attorney and Afghan evacuation advocate, James Thompson, and others started helping refugees find sanctuary in the U.S.

“I contacted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who helped us get Ahmed on a list and helped put us in contact with somebody to help us here with our own federal congress members. And because of that, we were able to get Ahmed and his family out,” said Thompson.

He said when the U.S. pulled troops out of Afghanistan, Afghan allies who had the U.S. military over the last few decades became targets of the Taliban.

“Ahmad had been a translator for them, and they knew he was in danger. And they were going to do everything that they could do to get him out,” said Thompson.

A local organization called the International Recuse Committee (IRC) has been helping Afghan refugees get acclimated to Kansas. Ahmad hopes to set his roots in Wichita.

“The first goal is to get the license and job because it’s important for me and for my family,” he said.

With donations raised by the IRC, the family was able to get an apartment and $1,100 worth of necessities. This year, the family has decided to celebrate the holidays.

“We Muslims do not celebrate Christmas, but I want to celebrate this year in Wichita with friends, and I want to meet with families here,” said Ahmad.

While talking to Ahmad, he couldn’t help but smile, saying, he’s happy to call Kansas his new home.

“I am so happy this place is so beautiful I like Kansas really,” Ahmad said.

Thompson created an online fundraiser to help Ahmad and his family as their plant their new roots. You can visit the site, here:

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