Virginia community opens its arms to welcome hundreds of Afghan refugees arriving from Kabul

‘We just want to share their pain,’ says an Afghan refugee who was there to donate his belongings

Stuti Mishra
Monday 23 August 2021 15:29
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<p>File: At least 20 people have died during the chaotic evacuation process at Kabul airport</p>

File: At least 20 people have died during the chaotic evacuation process at Kabul airport

Hundreds of Afghan refugees arrived in Northern Virginia to make a community college their temporary residence as they await further instructions on relocation, while locals also reached in numbers with packets of necessities and an outpouring of love and support for the displaced.

The refugees arrived at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Friday and were transferred to Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, where they are supposed to spend a few days.

While the authorities prepared rooms and cots for those arriving, several volunteers were also ready to lend a helping hand. Local media reports stated the donation bags brought in by locals were kept in large piles at the centre. The number of donations increased to such an extent that some had to be returned as well.

People arrived with clothes, toiletries, diapers, toys and books to donate to Afghans who were forced to leave their homes after the Taliban took control of the country, reported The Washington Post.

Many of the volunteers helping the newly arrived refugees were Afghans who had gone through the same experiences. “We just want to share their pain,” said Nasrul, identified by the newspaper with only his first name as the lives of his siblings in Afghanistan were still in danger.

“We are not in Afghanistan, but we are in sorrow,” he said.

This comes after a harrowing evacuation process at the Kabul airport where dozens have lost their lives so far in desperation to get on a flight that can take them to a safe abode.

A college spokesperson was quoted by the Associated Press saying that the refugees will stay at the campus anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Many refugees are destined for army bases.

There remain several questions over the efficacy of the resettlement process of the refugees.

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