I wanted to write a little bit more about this family, or at least what I know about them. Shah spent most of the time talking farsi with them and while I know the world Taliban in Farsi/Dari, I didn’t understand much else.
I do know that the father was a reporter for 20 years and has been working with the US military in Afghanistan for a long time. I know he has certificates from several European news agencies and apparently was quite accomplished. I know at one time they had money, simply by the fact that the could afford to pay for two visits with US doctors, without insurance, for all 8 of them just to get the visa to enter the country. I believe Shah said he spent about $8000 out of pocket just on those medical visits and that basically depleted their savings. I know that now that he is here he has to quickly improve his English, but even then it will be very hard to be competitive in his field in Atlanta. I know that the normal work of a refugee, working in a chicken factory, will never provide enough money for all of his children.
I know that they came here because they feared for their lives. I know that they need everything. I noticed in some photos that the girls are clearly sharing clothes. I know that they need a washer and dryer and that currently the mother is washing everything by hand. World Relief has given them everything they currently have. The bedrooms are lined with mattresses. Everything was very neat and clean, but sparse. The father’s main concern is warm blankets and clothes and an umbrella for his kids who walk to school. We know those things are the easy things to obtain. A car and a washer are the bigger things we know he will need.
As for sizes, everything they had seem to be small medium and large, or it was too little or too big. I hope to get exact sizes eventually, but really, as you can see, they come in all sizes. Jessie Parks, jessieparks.com, took this photos to illustrate that fact. There is a younger boy who is missing from both photos.
If people want to donate, I will make sure they get everything. Shah is hoping to go back and visit next week and, of course, I’ll keep everyone updated. It’s the neighborhood that is most amazing to me. It is basically a huge apartment complex of refugees. All around, there are people from all over the world walking, playing and living. It’s a mini UN . . . of the poor and the oppressed. Without a doubt, if one person in this neighborhood can’t use it, someone else can.
World Relief, who supports most, if not all of these refugees has volunteer classes once a month. Shah and I hope to go to the next one and to follow through with the background check that they ask people to complete. This isn’t just for liability reasons, folks. This is important to protect these, the most vulnerable.