We hope you and yours are all well. We are writing to ask you to consider helping us rescue three of my Afghan former graduate students and their families.
I am an associate professor
at the University of California San Francisco. Previously, I was a professor at Osaka University in Japan. My wife, Iyo, is a researcher at UCSF.
Surely, in August you saw the horrific images of the Taliban taking over Afghanistan and terrorizing Afghans who risked their lives supporting democracy. Over the past three month, under the Taliban’s harsh and chaotic rule, hundreds of thousands of Afghans who were left behind have been trying to flee the terror, chaos, economic collapse, and impending famine.
Among those who were left behind are my three former graduate students and their wives and children. My students were professors working at high levels to support the former government in building an open democratic society. They took personal risks to promote freedom of expression, and they openly supported women’s rights. When the Taliban started their oppressive takeover of the universities and government agencies, my students went into hiding, separated from their families. The Taliban began house-to-house searches, and the daily shootings and terrorist bombings started. One of their cousins was assassinated.
My students’ wives are also at high risk because of their husbands’ work, and because of their own activities. One was working in the government. Another was a student activist, and another had just started studying at a teaching college. The Taliban have destroyed their futures. And their young children, who are the children of Western-educated moderates the Taliban hate, have no future.
A few weeks ago, after working day and night for three months, we finally managed to get my three students evacuated to Japan on temporary visas, but they were not allowed to bring their wives and young children with them. For months their wives have been in hiding because they fear reprisal and harassment from the Taliban. Being separated from their husbands has been deeply traumatic.
One said, “I am a woman, and being in a high position in the former government, I am targeted by the Taliban. My husband is now in Japan. I feel at great risk and frightened being left behind in Kabul. I cannot sleep well. I need to be with my husband as soon as possible.”
We are asking you to consider donating whatever you can to help us support my students, and their wives and children. The three families lost all sources of income. In Afghanistan, prices for scarce food and other essentials have been skyrocketing. We paid for the flights for my students to be evacuated to Japan, and now we are paying for their rent, health insurance, and all of their other living expenses while they try to find a third country where they can resettle and rebuild their lives. We are optimistic that within the next month, their wives and children will receive permission to be evacuated to Japan. So, we are preparing to pay for five additional flights, plus additional living expenses in Japan.
Here is a breakdown of the costs:
8 evacuations: Kabul –> Doha –> Tokyo (14-day quarantine) –> Kobe = $17,600
Health insurance: $300/mo/person x 8 persons x 6 months = $14,400
Rent: $2,200 x 6 months = $13,200
Food and other essentials: $2,000 per month x 6 months = $12,000
Total = $57,200
Our Afghan friends are all talented and hard working, but they do not yet have permission to work in Japan.
We know this is a lot to ask, but please kindly consider making a donation – 100% of which will go directly to rescuing and supporting these three Afghan families. If you can commit to making a monthly contribution, that will greatly brighten their spirits and help us with ongoing costs. We are fortunate that two families we know have already make a generous monthly commitment. Please join them in helping however you can.
Thank you for taking time to consider our request. Very best wishes to you for a safe and happy holidays.
Jeremiah and Iyo