Afghan Refugees in Dallas: How to Help


Malahat Khizalbash

Image featuring the Azzad family, refugees in Dallas from Afghanistan

Fatima Jafri, Staff Writer

“It’s scary,” Reza Akhlaqi, an Afghan-American living in Dallas says. “It’s difficult and tiring to call my family everyday wondering if they are safe and alive.” 

As thousands flee Afghanistan from the Taliban, people like Akhlaqi and Fahim hope that their families are safe and can escape. More than three hundred Afghan families have arrived in Dallas over the last few weeks to seek refuge. More refugees are expected over in the near future. “I’m worried about them. I can’t bring them here and they can’t go anywhere. But I pray for their safety,” said Haifa Fahim, another Afghan-American in Dallas. “They too are worried, confused, and hopeless about the future. I feel helpless. I can’t do anything for the family. All I can do is pray and maybe help them financially as much as I can,” Fahim said.Families have been torn apart from their beloved homes and lives and are in desperate need of assistance from others. They are in need of various items, with toys for their children, hygiene products, pots, and shoes at the top of their lists. Over the past few years, the situation in Afghanistan has been getting worse day by day. Robberies and bombings in schools, hospitals, mosques and offices could happen anytime by the Taliban. Now that they have forcefully taken over, the concern is that poverty and food shortage will increase and the literacy rate will go down. Families are finding it hard to survive and continue living in the country.

Afghanistan is especially hard right now for Hazaras, an ethnic and religious minority within the country. Hazaras are of Turkic, Afghan and Mongol descent, making them a unique mix of cultures and backgrounds. Unfortunately, Hazaras are also known for being a target of ceaseless discrimination and oppression from all terrorst regimes, including the Taliban. 

As Hazaras, Fahim and Akhlaqi fear for their brothers and sisters back home. Akhlaqi explained,  “Hazaras are ten times more afraid than Afghans as they are the main targets of the Taliban. In fact, most of the attacks before the regime were against the minority.” 

“We have been persecuted very much because of our ethnicity and religious beliefs,” Fahim said. “Most of my friends in Afghanistan have been killed because they were Hazara. And my family isn’t being allowed into the airport to leave.”

Right now, another need for refugees is emotional support and understanding. The majority of the refugees come here to stay and build a better future for themselves and their children. “The refugees coming to America was a sacrifice that they had to make,” Fahim said. “They miss their home and they miss their friends but it was necessary to flee or else they would have been killed or forced to work for the new regime.” Many Afghans don’t see any good future for them if they stay back. They’ve dealt with psychological and emotional trauma, having their homes taken away and fearing for their lives.

Many Dallas Refugee Services are taking in donations and have started a wishlist. Donation links are posted below:



DFW Refugee Outreach Services

International Rescue Committee

UNHCR, The United Nations Refugee Agency

Islamic Relief USA