HOUSTON, Texas (KIAH) – Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, Texas is preparing for refugees to come to America from Afghanistan.
As the Taliban works to regain power in Afghanistan, the United States government is fighting to get U.S citizens home and rescue foreigners.
Within the next few weeks, Houston expects hundreds of refugees will arrive. Interfaith Ministries, an organization that’s been around for nearly 40 years, hopes to make this transition better for everyone involved.
One Iraq refugee turned citizen, Ali Al Sudani, says he was forced to leave behind his family and everything he knew. He came to America in April of 2009.
“Because of my work with the British and American troops, I was threatened and I had to leave my country,” said Sudani.
About 12 years later, Sudani works as the Chief Program Officer at Interfaith Ministries to share his experience and make the transition process a lot smoother for other refugees. Sudani believes he was called to lead in situations like this.
“The hope that what’s coming is better than what’s already behind me,” said Sudani.
According to Interfaith, they get between a 24 to 48-hour notice about the arrival of refugees. Once the escapees get here, it’s the organization’s obligation to help families get settled.
Sudani says refugees are legally able to work in the United States as soon as they step foot on American soil.
“If you have the right attitude you will be successful regardless of the challenges. That’s why we are coming into play as Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston because we are taking their hands in the first couple of months—six months. To show them, guide them, support them, teach them, prepare them for the job markets,” said Sudani.
Interfaith Ministries says with the number of resources of food, housing, jobs, and education opportunities, Houston’s economy is strong enough to handle the situation at hand.
“This is just another humanitarian situation that we need to respond to and we have proven as Houston that we are able to respond. And we will respond and welcome the newcomers into our homes,” said Sudani.
More importantly, Sudani says it’s a community partnership.
Interfaith says they expect more refugees to arrive over the next several months. If anyone needs assistance they can contact Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston.