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Catherine McAuley Center to receive 250 Afghan Refugees

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 5:28 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -The Catherine McAuley Center in Cedar Rapids will receive more than 250 Afghan refugees over the next year. These are people who are fleeing Afghanistan, which has been under Taliban rule since August.

About a dozen Afghan refugees are here now. They will all arrive by September 2022. The Catherine McAuley Center say they will live throughout Eastern Iowa. The non-profit will help them find jobs, housing, and medical care.

“The opportunity is great. People are coming here because it’s safe,” said Sara Zenji, Director of Refugee and Immigrant Services. “People are coming here because they’re fleeing violence, persecution, so they’re seeking the opportunity for safety.”

KCRG-TV9 talked to a man who just got to Iowa from Afghanistan. During the turmoil, he didn’t get to say goodbye to his wife and 1-year-old daughter. He says very few are safe under Taliban control. That’s why he did not want to show his face or give his name.

“You wave the flag, your life is not safe,” he said about life under Taliban control. “Those who present the national anthem, their life is not safe. So my family, if I post a single thing on Facebook, their life will be threatened.”

He’s looking forward to a fresh start in America. “I will start work here,” he said. “I will join the university here, and somehow my life will be prosperous in the future.”

A future he hopes will reunite him with his wife and daughter. He’s working to get them here.

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