WAKE FOREST N.C. (WNCN) – Right now, there are about 1,200 Afghan refugees already in the United States, but as many as 3,500 could arrive in the coming weeks with some to the Triangle.
For Afghan families living in central North Carolina, all they can do now is watch as their home country is taken over by the Taliban with concerns mounting for those left behind.
“Every single family either inside Afghanistan or outside Afghanistan,” Frozan Sahel, who fled to the United States six years ago, said. “Every single Afghan just lost their soul.”
Sahel says she left Afghanistan six years ago after her family started receiving threats for working with the United States.
“They kept threatening me that we are going to harm you or your kids, we are kidnapping them. So after that, I decided to move out of Afghanistan,” Sahel said.
The United States granted Sahal and her children Special Immigration Visas, or SIVs. Those visas are given to people who are fleeing the threat of violence because they worked with or for the U.S. government.
Now, Sahel says she desperately wants her loved ones left behind in Afghanistan to leave.
“All the borders are closed, the airport is closed. There’s no flight to go anywhere,” Sahel said.
She said Taliban control of the country means restrictive rights for women, the kind of control and limited education for girls she saw firsthand growing up.
“We were hiding our books under our dresses,” Sahel said.
Sahal’s daughter, Kassar Sahel, said she wants high schoolers and young adults her age to educate themselves on what’s happening abroad, and how it impacts people like her at home.
“Begging for people to at least post it, spread awareness so that everyone knows about it,” Kassar Sahel said.
Refugee organizations in Raleigh and Durham, such as World Relief Durham and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants said they’ve already taken in a few families and are expecting an influx of Afghan SIVs over the next few weeks.