Supporting Afghan Refugees in the United States

by Bamyan Foundation
Supporting Afghan Refugees in the United States
Rally in front of the White House
Rally in front of the White House

Centuries of racism and discrimination combined with systematic attacks on the basis of race and religion against the Hazaras in Afghanistan, particularly the recent devastating attack on Kaaj Academy, culminated to a worldwide movement - StopHazaraGenocide. 

Hazara diasporic communities around the world held rallies and protested against the systematic attacks on their community in Afghanistan. The rallies were held in more than 120 cities around the world, including in front of the White House in Washington DC, in front of United Nations Headquarter in New York City, in Atlanta, Sand Diego, San Francisco and Chicago; rallies in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide in Australia; rallies in London (UK), Lille, Leon and Paris (France), Berlin, Munich, Wurzburg, Stuttgart and Hamburg (Germany), Vienna (Austria), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Helsinki (Finland), Dublin (Ireland), Stockholm (Sweden), Copenhagen (Denmark), Brussel (Belgium), Rome (Italy), Barcelona (Spain), Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa & Toronto (Canada), Seoul (South Korea) and in Portugal, Kenya, Turkey, Japan, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Twitter:

On Twitter, the #StopHazaraGenocide has surpassed 11 million tweets despite efforts to derail the campaign by Taliban supporters by introducing misspelled hashtags. The #StopHazaraGenocide is the largest trending hashtag from Afghanistan to date. The Taliban government, taking a cue from the past Kabul regimes, introduced a counter hashtag, #UnitedAfghanistan, that has generated support among their supporters and sympathizers. In the past, Kabul regimes effectively managed and silenced the Hazara quest for social justice by accusing them of being against “the Afghan national unity”, mobilized the government apparatus and rallied other ethnic groups against the Hazaras.  Several influential personalities, namely two Nobel Peace Prize Winners, Malala Yousafzai and Nadia Murad, Turkish-British author Elif Safak, Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, and parliamentarians and government officials from the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia have spoken in support of the campaign and raised concerns about the ongoing genocide of Hazaras in Afghanistan. 

Rallies in the United States:

The Hazara-American community and the recent Hazara evacuees helped organized rallies across multiple cities in the United States. The rally in Washington DC, held on October 8, started at McPherson Square. The protestors marched to Lafayette Park and demanded recognition of the ongoing Hazara genocide in Afghanistan in front of the White House. The community held rallies in multiple US cities including in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York City and in Atlanta, San Diego, San Francisco and Chicago to raise awareness about the dire situation of Hazaras in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Renown genocide scholar and founder of Genocide Watch, Dr. Gregory Stanton, was present in the DC rally and read the protest resolution. In a rare showing of solidarity, like-minded Afghans of Pashtun, Tajik and Uzbek backgrounds joined their Hazara compatriots in the rallies. Famed Afghan singer, composer and producer Farad Darya was also in attendance in the DC protest to support the plight of the Hazaras. To learn more, please visit our website using the provided links.

The Bamyan Foundation team helped organize and support the rally in Washington DC and New York City, and provided funds in the amount of $800 to create banners, signs and posters to raise awareness about the ongoing Hazara genocide in Afghanistan.

The Hazaras are going through one of the most difficult times in Afghan history. We need your support to help this campaign and to raise awareness about the ongoing genocide of Hazaras and targetted killings of other ethnic groups in Afghanistan.

With Grattitude,

 Timor Karimy + The Bamyan Foundation Team

Rally in front of U.N. Headquarters in NYC
Rally in front of U.N. Headquarters in NYC
The rally concluded at the National Mall
The rally concluded at the National Mall
Demanding recognition of Hazara genocide
Demanding recognition of Hazara genocide
Hazara-American women led the rally
Hazara-American women led the rally

Links:

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Dear friends,

On  May 29, 2022, Bamyan Foundation collaborated with Hazara American Association to organize the Annual Hazara Gathering in Black Hill Regional Park located in Maryland, United States. The event attracted the largest gathering of Hazaras, approximately 1300, comprising the diaspora and the recent evacuees in the United States. Some had arrived with their families from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Ohio to spend a day with their community members from District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland.

The event reinforced our sense of identity, belonging and community. It provided us comfort and happiness, particularly the recent Hazara evacuees, who had escaped persecution and discrimination in Afghanistan and found safety in America. The participants had a great time and enjoyed activities such as volleyball, tug of war, drawing, painting, music, dancing and sharing of meal together. Some found and reconnected with long lost friends, others made new ones, shared knowledge and information about life in the US such as employment opportunities, banking and home ownership, their children’s education, education system in the US, and more. Through this collaboration, we have taken strides towards our collective goals of:

  • Building social and emotional support network;
  • Creating a sense of belonging and identity;
  • Creating space for networking, and sharing of cultural and social knowledge and meaningful integration of evacuees in the US;
  • Maintaining cultural heritage which contributes towards effective adjustment of new arrivals; and
  • Building strong and viable foundations for future generations of Hazara in the U.S.

Hazaras, who are one the most recent ethno-sectarian group arriving in the U.S., firmly believe that creating a strong sense of community in the United States plays a crucial role towards:

  • Generating support for our marginalized and persecuted community’s survival in Afghanistan, 
  • Support for Hazara refugee communities scattered around the world, and
  • Unifying the Hazara diasporic communities in Europe, Australia and the U.S. to create collective impact in a). Education and humanitarian aid in Afghanistan; b). Supporting the Hazara refugees worldwide; and c). Develop a sense of activism to mitigate a Hazara genocide in Taliban controlled Afghanistan.    

Bamyan Foundation provided a grant of 1,000 USD for the Annual Hazara Gathering that covered:

  • Shelter $450.00
  • Banners/posters:$260.00
  • Power generator: $140.00
  • Purchase of misc. materials: $150.00

Partner feature:

The Hazara American Association Inc, (HAA)  is a 501C(3) non-profit organization in Washington DC area. HAA’s mission is to serve the Hazaras in the US, to preserve the Hazara culture and traditions, create strong system of support for the individuals in the community and especially to young generation. HAA organizes gathering and cultural events to develop a sense of community among the Hazaras in the United States. 

We are grateful for your support and your donation will continue to help the Hazaras become productive members of their new communities in the US. 

 

With grattitude,

Timor Karimy + Bamyan Foundation Team

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Aid distribution in Kabul
Aid distribution in Kabul

Dear Friends,

Following the fall of the Afghan government in August 2021 and takeover by the Taliban, the United States evacuated 124,000 Afghans. Approximately 74,000 have been resettled in the United States, and about 80% of the evacuees have been relocated to 18 states. Resettlement agencies have been helping the federal government to find housing for the evacuees and even allowing private citizens to sponsor Afghan families. 

From the total number of Afghans evacuated – Hazaras constitute a small portion. During the chaos in August 2021, there were multiple roadblocks for Hazaras to get evacuated, mainly: 

  • Hazaras have been stigmatized on the basis of race and religion since the founding of a Pashtun monarchy in the 18th century in a region that came to be known as Afghanistan in the 20th century.
  • Racism is endemic in the Afghan soceity, and Hazaras are easily distinguishable in Afghanistan due to their Asiatic features so escaping the Taliban to make it to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul was life-threatening and quite risky. Even those who managed to elude the Taliban and made it to the proximity of the airport - the remnant of Afghan national security forces, mostly from the Pashtun ethnic group, that were providing security for the airport – were denying Hazaras entry into the airport to be evacuated. Therefore, significantly more Afghans of Pashtun and Tajik backgrounds were evacuated.
  • As a result, despite the Hazaras’ overwhelming support for the U.S. - led intervention in Afghanistan since 2002, a small number of Hazaras have been evacuated from Afghanistan.  

Those who have arrived feel a sense of freedom as the challenges that lie ahead in the US seem trivial compared to the barriers they faced in Afghanistan. It is a common tale among the Hazara community in the U.S. that we have arrived with thicker skin due to the discrimination and marginalization that we endured in Afghanistan. As a result, there is a sense of optimism and freedom towards achieving the American dream and becoming productive members of society.

There have been amazing stories of the diaspora community helping the evacuees – from help to find housing to providing a sense of community (please see the attached NPR article). And it didn’t take the evacuees long to focus on those left behind in Afghanistan. The Foundation provided a much needed humanitarian aid assistance to vulnerable Hazara families in Afghanistan this winter. The diaspora community in general, and the recent evacuees in particular, were of tremendous help and guidance reaching inaccessible communities and helping the families at risk of famine and at the mercy of cold winter in Afghanistan.

Additionally with the funds raised through this project, the Foundation provided winter clothes and blankets to an evacuee family that amounted to $290. 

Thank you for your continued support.

Aid distribution in Daykundi
Aid distribution in Daykundi

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Organization Information

Bamyan Foundation

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @bamyanfdn
Project Leader:
Timor Karimy
Washington, DC United States
$1,845 raised of $50,000 goal
 
16 donations
$48,155 to go
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