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An Afghan refugee resettling in Abilene shares his story

Afghanistan evacuation flight
Hashmat took this picture the morning he was leaving Kabul on his final flight out of the airport.

The United States is in the process of resettling tens of thousands of Afghans who were able to leave Kabul as the U.S. ended its two decades of military presence. During the last 20 years, the U.S. has brought nearly a hundred thousand Afghan refugees-either by means of special immigrant visas or under refugee status. Texas is second only to California in hosting the most Afghan refugees during that time.

Now the International Rescue Committee is helping Afghan refugees establish new homes in Abilene. 40 have already arrived, and the organization expects up to 115 in the coming months.

Hashmat evacuated from Kabul in August and arrived in Abilene in early October. He came to KACU to tell his story.

Local organizations have been collecting donations for the IRC as it helps the refugees get settled. The IRC doesn’t currently need food or clothing donations, but is accepting toiletries, and cash, and has a wish-list of specific items. The organization says it is most in need of help with providing housing and jobs for the refugees. The IRC has put together a list of ways Abilenians can help. Find out how here.

Heather Claborn joined KACU as news director in January 2018. She oversees daily newscast and feature reporting and works with KACU’s news anchors to develop newscasts. She also conducts two-way interviews, reports for newscast and feature stories and maintains the station’s social media and website content. In 2020, Claborn helped staff develop the daily newsletter that is delivered by email.