Posted by: Amy Robertson 1 year, 4 months ago
WRI Ambassador Reshad Ahmadi featured in the podcast The Alien Chronicles
The Alien Chronicles is a weekly podcast that tells the stories of how people came to America. Produced by Saadia Khan, an immigrant from Pakistan, the podcast explores questions of belonging and the concept of home.
Episode 11 of the podcast, I Am a Survivor, featured Afghan immigrant Reshad Ahmadi. Reshad is a loving dad and husband, a hard-working engineer, and an Ambassador of the Westchester Refugee Initiative. Reshad worked for ten years on U.S.-funded reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, and his association with the U.S. made him a target for the Taliban.
After he was attacked by extremists, Reshad knew he had no choice but to leave Afghanistan. He was granted a Special Immigration Visa (SIV) for his work with the U.S., and within weeks found himself in White Plains.
In the podcast, Saadia asked Reshad how the American people met his expectations. “The kind of hospitality and welcome that I received here in New York… I hadn’t expected that,” he admitted. “I really appreciate the amount of love and sympathy that I received from the Westchester community, especially from the Westchester Refugee Initiative.”
Listen to the podcast here (look for Episode 11).
Tragically, the visa program that saved Reshad’s life has now been burdened with heightened restrictions. Congress has not allocated new visas for 2019, leaving 19,000 applicants in limbo. Now that the Taliban has been resurgent in the country amid uncertainty about a potential U.S. troop pullout, the situation has become even more dangerous for those who served alongside U.S. troops. For more information, see this article in the Washington Post.