St. Louis and St. Louis County are ready to welcome 1,000 Afghan citizens through the Special Immigrant Visa program
ST. LOUIS — Six years ago, Bahram Ibrahim and his family fled northern Iraq at a time when the extremist group Isis was invading their country.
“Yeah, that war was in 2015. People were dying because Isis came into Iraq,” recalled Ibrahim.
Fearing for their lives, he, his wife and their children left the Middle East and arrived in the United States wearing nothing but the clothes on their backs.
A long-awaited move he doesn’t regret.
“The life in the United States is the best life,” said Ibrahim.
Bahram is now a successful taxi driver in St. Louis. His wife is a stay-home mom.
Their kids attend school in south county.
“Happy wife, happy life. The kids are happy. The kids are going to schools and the schools are amazing,” he said.
Now, he prays scores of Afghan citizens, desperate to escape Taliban rule, will survive, settle in America and also have a chance at “amazing” new lives.
“I’m so sad about the people who still live there. People the Taliban has killed. I hope that everyone can be safe in the United States,” said Ibrahim.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page say they too want to see that happen.
In a statement, city and county leaders said they’re ready to welcome “at least 1,000 Afghan citizens to the St. Louis area through the Special Immigrant Visa or SVI Program.”
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Citizens, whom they say will receive support in a variety of areas.
“Oh, I think that’s a really good decision. I’m really thankful for that,” said Wahied Aryan, also of south St. Louis County.
Three years ago, Aryan and his family left war-torn Kabul, Afghanistan, and emigrated to the U.S.
Aryan is now a successful machine operator at a north county food factory.
His dream for his fellow Afghans hoping to arrive in St. Louis?
“For the better life. For their safety and for the safety of their kids and I also pray for the future of their kids,” added Wahied Aryan.
“I’m free every day,” Ibrahim said.
Originally Appeared Here