NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – 50,000 Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban control are expected to seek asylum in the United States. Of those, roughly 300 will be placed in Middle Tennessee according to the Executive Director of the American Muslim Advisory Council, Sabina Mohyuddin.
“In Nashville, what I’ve heard from the National International Center for Empowerment (NICE) is they’re probably going to get about 140 Afghan refugees and Catholic Charities is expecting to receive 150 refugees,” explains Mohyuddin.
She continues resettlement, in this case, is a fluid situation because of the circumstances surrounding the exit.
“Normally, there’s a lot of processing going on before anyone even can think about coming to the U.S., but because of the crisis situation, it is changing day by day, and it’s happening very quickly.”
Some of the families are already in the area, but more will arrive through March.
Agencies such as Catholic Charities and NICE, along with Afghan leadership and members of the local Muslim community will meet Tuesday evening to strategize the best ways to accommodate the refugees.
“We’re going to come together and just kind of make a comprehensive list of what we need. From clothing to kitchenware, to furniture, and obviously trying to find the places for them to live,” says Mohyuddin.
They’re also focused on finding mental health support needed for the refugees acclimating to a new nation.
“They face a lot of isolation, right? It’s traumatic leaving and then coming here,” Mohyuddin says. “I can’t emphasize how much support they need. It’s not easy, so it will be a process.”
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There are plans to hold donation drives for these refugees in the coming weeks at area Mosques.
This follows the United States withdrawal of military in Afghanistan last month, ending America’s longest war.