The story of my husband, Ahmad, is one of pride. In 2001, the U.S. military arrived in our province. They helped build government offices and schools and gave children school supplies. With thanks, Ahmad learned English to become an interpreter for the U.S. Marines.
In the time we had our first child, many Afghan interpreters quit because it was too dangerous. I wanted Ahmad to quit but he would not, saying he had a duty to help our U.S. partners. He said they would not give up helping us so we could not give up helping them. He was committed to working for a peaceful country for our children and worked with the U.S. Marines until 2021, when everything changed.
August 2021, the U.S. completely withdrew from our country. The Taliban immediately took over. We had five children and were in danger because of Ahmad’s service to the U.S. The U.S. helped us evacuate.
When our family arrived in the U.S., we felt shock. Everything happened too quickly, and we had to leave family behind. For many months I did not sleep. I worried every day for my family. I was also very confused and did not understand how to use U.S. money or help the children attend school. The children were sad every day, missing family and friends. We stayed in a one-bedroom apartment and were afraid to leave. The children began to fight all the time.
One day Ahmad said he found help for our children. He took us to CST where we met very kind staff. They gave us clothes, toys, dishes, HEB grocery cards, home decorations, art supplies, and a computer. Our older children got a counselor who helped them enroll in school. The CST staff helped Ahmad and me learn many things—now we have mentors to help us understand this new life.
The children are happier in school and our oldest daughter plays soccer. CST helped us find a better apartment, helped Ahmad get a driver’s license, and he works as a cook. He plans to own a food truck where he will share Afghan food. I am happier, but I do spend most of my time alone with our young son. CST is starting a program for Afghan women where I can make friends, take classes, and bring the children. Soon I will start Sewing Group. I am thankful for a place like CST.