'I cannot pretend to be OK': Afghan refugees torn between new lives in US and haunting reality of home


Afghan refugees, still haunted by Taliban takeover, rebuild life in US

While learning a new language and adjusting to a new culture in the U.S., Afghan refugees cannot turn away from the horrible crises unfolding in their home country.

By Fatema Hosseini

  • After the collapse of Afghanistan, the U.S. government evacuated more than 76,000 Afghans.
  • Now, many refugees are struggling to start new lives from scratch in the U.S.
  • Back home, Afghanistan’s economy is in freefall and life under the Taliban is very dangerous.

When Taliban fighters waltzed into the Afghan capital of Kabul last year, Homeira Qaderi knew she would have to flee her homeland. She wasn’t a high-profile democracy advocate or working for a Western-backed institution.

She was a single mom who had written a book about life under the Taliban, a critical account of the militant Islamic group back in power after the U.S. military withdrew. Qaderi used her contacts abroad to get herself and her 8-year-old son on an evacuation list.

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