FREMONT (KPIX 5) – As thousands of people desperately try to leave Afghanistan, Bay Area Afghans are desperate for news on their loved ones. In Fremont’s Little Kabul, there is a commitment here to help in every way possible.
“As someone going through this process right now, personally, I have loved ones back in Kabul that we are trying to get here,” said Harris Mojadedi of the Afghan Coalition. “But the situation is in flux.”
A leader in Fremont’s Afghan community, among the largest in the United States, Mojadedi is desperately trying to help his loved ones, now stuck in the chaos on the other side of the globe.
“There is no safe passage even to the airport,” Mojadedi told KPIX 5. “So even if there are loved ones that have the approved paperwork, we’re talking about U.S. citizens, green card holders, they can’t even get safely to the airport. That’s what the situation looks like, and I think for us over here, we feel helpless.”
On Friday, President Joe Biden gave an update on the evacuation out of Afghanistan, as thousands of U.S. citizens along with Afghans are desperate to leave.
“We’re going to do everything, everything that we can to provide safe evacuation for our Afghan allies,” Biden said from the White House.
As Biden was briefing the American public on efforts to get people out, Congressman Eric Swalwell was in Fremont, talking about how to welcome refugees in.
“And we just know that naturally, because this has been a landing point for so many decades for Afghans to come to, even if a family initially lands in Chicago or New York or somewhere else, they’re probably going to find their way here,” Swalwell said. “This is just a kind of home for the diaspora.”
This is where a previous generation of Afghan refugees landed. Now, community groups, mosques and grocery stores are mobilizing to welcome more.
“So half of our proceeds, you know, sales, whatever we have,” said Aziz Omar of his fundraiser at DeAfghanan Cuisine in Fremont. “Then we made some T-shirts here.”
“My family immigrated to the United States as refugees in the 1980s,” Mojadedi explained. “They escaped persecution in Afghanistan and when they got to America they were welcomed with warm arms here in Fremont, California. We want to ensure that that happens for this next wave of refugees, which we know will happen.”