Help bring an Afghan doctor and his family to Arizona

Help bring an Afghan doctor and his family to Arizona

From Megan Phillips

Please consider supporting a professional colleague and friend, Abdul*, who is currently fleeing Afghanistan with his family and attempting to come to Arizona.

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I am asking for your help and support for a professional colleague and friend, Abdul*, who is currently fleeing Afghanistan with his family to travel to the U.S. and work and study at Arizona State University. 

Abdul is a public health physician who has dedicated his life to serving others and advocating for democracy. The lives of him and his family are in danger because of his work with American partners, and he needs our help to travel safely to Arizona to start a new life with his wife and baby daughter.

Fleeing Afghanistan

Abdul, his wife, and his 18-months old daughter were living in Kabul, Afghanistan when the city fell on August 15, 2021 and the subsequent withdrawal of the U.S.-led NATO forces on August 30. They were forced to go into immediate hiding after learning the Taliban were searching the homes of his family members and friends for Abdul. 

Abdul is being targeted for execution by the Taliban due to his former high-profile work with the U.S. and other international agencies. Abdul’s family is well-known in Afghanistan as advocates for democracy and public health, and they have had several family members kidnapped or executed by the Taliban.

Please Help

The last few months have been incredibly difficult and traumatizing. Abdul has used all of his savings to flee the country, leaving behind their home and all of their possessions. He lost his job working for the Afghan government and has no opportunities for employment until he gets to the U.S. 

While we wait for visa approval, we need immediate help to support Abdul and his family. The costs for Abdul have become overwhelming, due to astronomically high living expenses, visa fees, flight tickets, transportation expenses, security needs, and other costs.

We are asking for immediate financial assistance to help with living expenses in the bordering country and flight tickets to the U.S. We are estimating Abdul will need approximately $7,000 for living expenses to cover the estimated six months until visa approval, as well as $3,000 for flights to Arizona.

Thank you for taking the time to read Abdul’s story. It would mean so much to him if you could contribute any amount to help them get through this challenging time. We are all sending our love and prayers to everyone in Afghanistan and those displaced around the world.

*Names changed to protect the family’s safety. All expenses will be tracked with receipts available upon request. If we meet our $10,000 goal, please consider helping other ASU students, family, alumni and friends in Afghanistan by donating to the ASU Foundation’s Educational Futures for Afghan Refugees fund.

Message from Abdul

Kabul, Afghanistan | August 20, 2021

The Taliban have captured my home city of Kabul. Although Kabul was handed to Taliban without an armed clash, the violence is extremely high in this capital city. Armed militants of the Taliban are everywhere on the streets and we are hearing gunfire from far and near every moment of everyday. The residents are scared. We are in a nightmare.

The dramatic change of the security situation in Afghanistan in recent weeks has put us and our family’s lives in danger in Kabul as well. The current condition is life-threatening, especially for those who have or are currently working with international organizations and governments. It is the fifth day of rule of the Taliban in Kabul, and we are hidden in our home and can’t go to our offices or anywhere out of our home because of the risk to be recognized or traced by Taliban. There is no law and order in this place and Kabul city is in full chaos. No government exists yet and the potential of armed clashes and violence is very high. Anti-Taliban forces are gathering in the Panjsheer province and preparing to fight against the Taliban under the leadership of Ahamd Massoud, son of Ahmad Shah Masoud, the famous anti-Taliban leader.

As a public health practitioner and physician, I have been working with U.S. agencies, governmental departments, and international non-governmental organizations for over 10 years. I have served as an interpreter and translator and public health practitioner for many agencies around the world, including the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, International Federation Electoral System (IFES), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ( BMGF), Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organisation (WHO).

My family and I have been targeted and threatened by the Taliban because of my affiliations and work with U.S.- and international-based organizations. My coworkers have lost their lives, been injured, and forced to flee the country. I have left my home village and relocated my family to keep them safe. Now, as the Taliban have entered Kabul, no place is safe anymore as the Taliban are on every street.

As the world has witnessed, the security situation is deteriorating day by day and mass casualties are happening all over Afghanistan. Unfortunately, this time the Taliban came with more brutal and tyrant force and no mercy for anyone. They brutally killed the famous comedian Mr. Khasha in Kandahar; the human right activist, poet and writer, Mr. Abdullah Atefi in Uruzgan; the media activist Mr. Meena Pal in Kabul; and led the mass murder of hundreds of residents in Spinboldak, Malistan and Panjsheer. The cities of Zaranj, Sheberghan, Kundoz, Taloqan, Herat, Lashkarghah, Faizabad, Kandahar and Saripul witnessed heavy clashes last week, and the residents of these cities are trapped in the fights between Afghan government and Taliban. Hundreds are being killed and injured in these cities on a daily basis. Sooner or later, the same scenario is going to happen in Kabul. People are trying any possible opportunities to go out of the country. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has alerted all U.S. citizens and affiliated people to leave Kabul immediately.  

Considering the current devastating circumstances, the rapidly deteriorating security situation, and the specific targeting of myself and my family’s lives in retaliation for my work with U.S. partners, I request immediate help and assistance for our emergency evacuation.

Sincerely,

Dr. Abdul

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