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No Way Home, Episode Three: Born Again – The Intercept

I met Qader Kazimizada as I was also trying to learn Italian and integrate into this new society. Qader already spoke English when he arrived in Italy with his family last fall, but he struggled to learn Italian. He soon realized th…….

I met Qader Kazimizada as I was also trying to learn Italian and integrate into this new society. Qader already spoke English when he arrived in Italy with his family last fall, but he struggled to learn Italian. He soon realized that other Afghan refugees were having the same problem. He created a WhatsApp group to communicate with them. 

Qader Kazimizada: So I created a group, and called them. “Are you ready? Do you need my help? I want to have a class for you.” They were surprised and really felt very happy: “Oh, that is wonderful, please! That is good.”

Maryam Barak: Despite the fact that he himself was just beginning to learn Italian, Qader began teaching Afghan refugees what he had learned in his own classes, offering both support with the language and a sense of community. He taught the classes in languages Afghans could understand, like Persian. 

Back in Afghanistan, Qader worked as a finance officer for Jesuit Refugee Services, an international nongovernmental organization that at the time provided education, vocational training, and emergency services to people in Afghanistan. Qader had been worried about the worsening security situation in the country, but like many others, he thought he and his family would be safe in Kabul, the country’s cosmopolitan capital. 

Sitting in his living room in Rome, with his children playing near him, Qader told me about the day everything changed: August 15, 2021. He was at his office in Kabul when he learned that the Taliban had entered the city. He grabbed his laptop and immediately rushed home. When he got there, he realized the Taliban were already in his neighborhood. Suddenly, the lines of people rushing to the airport made sense.

Qader Kazimizada: They have entered, and there are many people, many people, many young boys. They are clicking pictures with the Taliban.

Maryam Barak: Working for a Catholic organization put Qader in danger. Leaving Afghanistan suddenly seemed like the only way to save his family. When the government collapsed, he started contacting every foreigner he had ever met, asking for help. Eventually, Jesuit Refugee Services said they could evacuate Qader, his wife, and two kids, Nargis and Firdaws. 

But they couldn’t take everyone. Qader would have to leave his parents and siblings behind. He and his wife took their 7-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son to the airport. The Italian government agreed to take in the group. With no notice, Qader and his family were now headed to …….

Source: https://theintercept.com/2022/09/18/no-way-home-podcast-born-again/

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