ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Catholic Family Center of Rochester welcomed refugees who settled into their new homes over the New Year. For them, it’s a new year, a new home and a new country.
“We are so happy,” Esmatullah Ahmadzai, who is now in Rochester, said. “And day by day, we try to set our life here. We try to learn everything, we try to learn about the rule of [the] United States and these things are so important.”
Ahmadzai and his family are part of the more than 1,000 Afghan refugees who relocated to Upstate New York late last year.
“The situation in Afghanistan day-by-day became so bad,” Ahmadzai said. “And every person they had lots of tension, will I be alive here or not? Maybe [the] Taliban will kill us. These questions, these tensions, all of the people have.”
He is with his two young children and wife.
“I came with my documents, and that was all,” Ahmadzai said. “One bag that I had. When we arrived here, CFC and the community supported us. And right now I’m so happy that we have a house like this.”
Leaving his home is difficult to talk about. In Afghanistan, Ahmadzai was a journalist with a master’s degree. Here, he has yet to find work.
“I leave all those things in Afghanistan,” Ahmadzai said. “But now I’m in Rochester. What can I do here? It’s such an important question.”
But he’s optimistic about the future, and the fresh start he and his family have been given.
“My hope and wish is to get a job in media,” Ahmadzai said. “But also as I mentioned before, I have a wife and two small kids. It’s a big responsibility of me that I support them and make their lives happy.”
But his thoughts will always be with the family and home he left behind
“We have every (day) things, and I try to make my life day-by-day good,” Ahmadzai said. “And again, I hope peace for all the world, especially Afghanistan.”