Friendship Force welcomes Afghan refugees at year-end party | Extra Quarter

(Left to right) Abdul Wajid Hadi, Omran Shayesta, Mohibullah Himat and Irfan Bahawi, refugees from Afghanistan, attend the annual Friendship Force of Lincoln party.


BY MAXINE MOUL, FFL vice-president, for the Quartier Extra

Four new Afghan residents of Lincoln gave an international focus to the annual Friendship Force of Lincoln (FFL) party. Recent arrivals are Irfan Bahawi, Mohibullah Himat, Omran Shayesta and Abdul Wajid Hadi.

After dinner at the Venue restaurant, the four refugees told FFL members about their life in Afghanistan, their airlift out of the country as US forces retreated, and their journeys that took them to Lincoln. They also spoke of their hopes for their future in Lincoln and their concerns for their families back home.

Two of the immigrants are graduates of Kabul University, in engineering and finance. After receiving their Social Security and other required documents, they plan to enroll in Southeast Community College and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to gain their ability to further their careers. Three of the men were fluent in English and were translating for the one who had just started his English course.

Bahawi is an interpreter for Catholic Social Services to help his people. Himat worked with the US military in Afghanistan as a civil engineer for three years, in various organizations such as the Mercy Corps of Afghanistan.

Clayton Naff of Lincoln Literacy facilitated their participation.

About Mark A. Tomlin

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