Mohammad and Masuda arrived from Afghanistan only two weeks ago. Though soft-spoken, Mohammad speaks excellent English (he also speaks Persian, Pashto, and even a little French), and was very open about his family’s past struggles in their war-torn homeland.
“Ever since 2008, I had been working in Kandahar, while Masuda and the children stayed in Kabul,” Mohammad begins. “There was work there at an American company called Black and Vaetch, constructing the electrical lines to rebuild the country. I was an IT manager there.” While the job initially appeared promising, it was not long before trouble began. “My parents, who lived in Baghlan at the time, started to receive threatening phone calls. They were told that I needed to quit my job, that I would be killed if I came to Baghlan to visit. That’s when I decided my family needed to leave Afghanistan, for our safety.”
In 2012 Mohammad began the resettlement process by applying for a Special Immigration Permit specifically for Iraqi and Afghani citizens. The process was lengthy, but Mohammad, Masuda, and their five children, ages 5-12, are today Houston residents. When asked how IM has helped their family, Mohammad said, “IM helped set up the apartment and gave us a little money and some food stamps to help us get started. We are all glad to be in our new home.” The kids will start school soon, and Mohammad says that they, too, are excited about their new life in Texas. “My oldest son has a disability and needs a prosthetic leg. We’ve already seen a doctor and he will be fitted for his prosthesis next month. He is very happy to walk again.” Masuda is glad to be near family; her sister has lived in Sugar Land for the last 11 years and is now a citizen. All in all, the family feels encouraged with their new start. “We all feel very hopeful for our future,” says Mohammad.