An Afghan teen makes it to the U.S., but his family is left behind in Kabul

An Afghan teenager now working in the U.S. recounts the difficult journey that has left him separated from his family who remain in Kabul, fearing the new Taliban regime.

Dangerous Departure: The teen, known as BH, managed to escape from Afghanistan amidst the chaotic evacuation at Kabul International Airport but became separated from his family.
* Amidst the panicked crowd, BH was able to present his documents to an American soldier and was escorted through the gate—his family was nowhere to be found.
* At just 17 years old, BH found himself all alone, embarking on a journey that took him from Doha, Qatar, to Germany, Virginia, and finally New Mexico.

Financial Struggles: BH, now residing in Virginia, received three months of financial assistance from the State Department and is currently working and studying full time.
* The church Christ Church in Alexandria helps him out financially, but he still struggles to meet ends, living alone.
* He also supports his family back in Kabul by sending them money when he can.

Pathway to permanent residency: BH is on his way to becoming a permanent resident of the U.S. and targets to study computer programming with a scholarship.
* A bill, the Afghan Adjustment Act, is pending in Congress which could speed up the permanent residency process for Afghan refugees.
* Thousands of Afghan refugees, however, have difficulties with English and only have temporary work permits – they await the passage of the said bill.

Constant Worry: Despite having a safe life in the U.S., BH remains worried about his family left in Taliban-held Kabul.
* He often mourns for the loss of freedom and rights in his home country under the new regime.
* He mentioned his desire for his Afghan female counterparts to have access to education.

View original article on NPR

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