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'My family is happy that we are safe': An Afghan refugee shares his gratitude for the U.S. allowing him and his family to seek asylum

Afghan refugee Ezatullah.JPG
Posted at 8:01 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 20:03:48-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — There is currently an explosion of Afghan refugees looking to make their own "American Dream", after the United States recently pulled all of its military forces out of the country.

Some of them will eventually call Western New York home.

At least 50,000 Afghans are expected to be admitted into the U.S., by the end of the year. This is on top of the 31,000 who have already arrived since the end of the war, in August-September, according to the New York Times. That number nearly equals the 97,000 Afghans who resettled in the U.S., over the past twenty years.

One family shared their story with 7ABC.

Afghan refugee, Ezatullah shares how he has been adjusting to the American life, with his four kids and wife, in Buffalo. He says he is grateful for the U.S. being able to grant he and his family safety.

"We are happy and my family is happy that we are safe," Ezatullah said.

Ezatullah recalls leaving his home country of Afghanistan, on September 5, which was just days after the U.S. officially removed its troops from the country.

"In Afghanistan, everything was in trouble, especially in the last time when the Taliban came, but when we came here, everything changed. Like we started a new life," Ezatullah said.

The family of six, who now lives in Buffalo, is thankful for their safety.

The path to Western New York, however, was not a one-way ticket.

The family spent the first month in various cities.

"We were in Qatar. For 10 days, we were in the Qatar after that we were in Germany. We had a stop there for two hours," the father of four explained.

From there, the family went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and then New Mexico, where they stayed in a refugee camp.

Courtesy: Associated Press video

New Mexico prepared to welcome refugees who fled Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops in August. Ezatullah told Pheben Kassahun he and his family stayed here before arriving in Buffalo, about a month ago.

"So, after that, we came to the New York- Buffalo," he said. "We are really appreciative of the government of the United States from the other organizations who helped us."

Adjusting to life in the states has not been easy for the family, but Ezatullah said he is thankful for the Buffalo community and the leaders of refugee agencies for their efforts in a smooth transitional process.

"Right now, I have some plan to start work to find a job to support my family and we had some problem like kids. The kids were not in school. Right now, the kids are also in the school and everything is good," he said. "We are very appreciative of the church guy. They are our co-sponsor. They are supporting us. They brought to us, everything so we are appreciative of them also. We are hoping that the other agencies do a little bit of a focus on the refugee life because they are starting their life from zero."

Ezatullah and his family's story is similar to many others, in Buffalo and Western New York.

To help, five local refugee organizations are launching a major cooperative campaign to give them a soft landing into Buffalo.

The goal is to raise $750,000 for evacuees to cover the cost of living, housing set-ups, and other things. To donate through a safe link, visit the Buffalo United for Afghan Evacuees website at wnyrac.org.

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