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Emergency Help for My Afghan Friend Facing Death

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Hello All,

My friend and former colleague Mohammad is now in Afghanistan and is facing imminent death at the hands of the Taliban because of his work with the US Army overseeing construction projects throughout Afghanistan. I am giving him the alias Mohammad because of security concerns and am trying to avoid details to protect his identity. This is an urgent life-or-death matter and he is heartbreakingly on the verge of selling one of his kidneys for money. If the Taliban locate him, Mohammad will be arrested, tortured and put to death leaving his wife, three small children, mother and two adult sisters desolate.

In the final days before the US withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021, with 15 minutes notice and without saying goodbye to his wife and three small children, Mohammad left Afghanistan with only the clothes on his back and very little money. He arrived in the US alone, not knowing his future and that of his family.

I met Mohammad one year later in August 2022 when we worked for the same company. He was one of the first people to reach out and greet me with his big, warm smile. In the past year I learned he’s college educated, speaks five languages fluently, has a fantastic sense of humor, laughs easily when sharing happy stories and photos but he also shared more difficult times with me. Most tragic of these is that his father and three brothers (one of whom worked for the US Army) were assassinated in a vehicle explosion by the Taliban which also left his mother severely injured and hospitalized for months. As was expected, Mohammad became the patriarch of the family with sole financial responsibility for his mother and two unmarried sisters in addition to his wife and children. While in the US, he worked a full-time job, a part-time job, and in his spare time drove for Uber.

I have seen first hand what a hard and dedicated worker he is, how he lived very simply, and that he sent everything he earned, besides basic living expenses, to his family back in Afghanistan as they were awaiting humanitarian asylum to the US.

I was shocked when Mohammad resigned his jobs and, putting his life at risk, was traveling back to Afghanistan. He was desperate to be by his mother who was gravely ill, spending over a month in emergency care. He made that life-or-death decision because his sisters were not allowed access to see their mother in the hospital let alone source care to keep her alive. For me, this proves he is a man of conviction, commitment with great love and dedication to his family.

Which leads me to this fundraiser. Mohammad sold everything, and I mean everything (a family member of mine almost bought his car but he sold to someone else who acted faster), he had in the US to fund last-minute travel and provide medical care for his mother. Now he has almost no money to feed his family of eight people let alone pay for travel expenses out of Afghanistan to safety.

Life in Afghanistan is dismal. Unemployment is above 30%, over half of the population needs assistance, and severe food and water shortages impact the entire country along with electric and internet disruptions. Mohammad finds himself unemployable because of the fear of recognition and death should the Taliban learn of his whereabouts within the country. His wife and sisters (one of whom was a school principal) under Taliban law are not allowed to work outside the home.

Without employment, Mohammad can barely support his family financially and is beyond anxious for all of them to urgently leave the country but that requires funding for travel expenses for eight people - visas, transportation, hotel, food and a possible stay of one+ years in a country outside of Afghanistan before his family is granted asylum to the US.

For Mohammad, funding is even more urgent. Even though he has a pending Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) and other pending documents, his work permit expires in late August and he must reapply in person which requires him to return to the US.

To help Mohammad, I have a phased fundraising strategy:

1st goal - raise enough money to stabilize Mohammad and family in Afghanistan: food / rent / utilities -- $500 per month
2nd goal - raise enough money for entire family of eight’s travel expenses (Mohammad, wife, mother, 3 children, 2 sisters) to leave the country -- visas ($3600), transportation ($500), food and lodging ($400)
3rd goal - raise enough money to help Mohammad’s family survive while he returns to US for employment, plus help him with travel expenses including visa, airfare, etc.($7000)

It may be months or even years before Mohammad will be able to reunite with his family and given he is their primary breadwinner and will need to look for a new job, your donation will help him provide for his family while he figures out his new situation and hopefully also pay for the legal support and processing to help his family travel to the US and reunite.

Please donate what you can, nothing is too small. If you cannot donate today, please follow Mohammad’s story which I will update here. Also please share this on social media with friends, family, and any community or organization that might be able to help. I can assure you he is a terrific, kind-hearted, honest person with a loving and lovely family. They deserve freedom from constant fear and a good life. I want his sisters to enjoy the independence to be able to work again and his daughters educated above the 6th grade!

With all my heart I thank you,
Cate, Organizer

Please see my video in the "Updates" section for more information about Mohammad and his situation.


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Cate Newman
Washington D.C., DC

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