On August 26, 2021, the Kabul airport was overwhelmed with refugees seeking to save their lives. Nomanullah can tell you about it first-hand. He, with a brother and uncle, had the papers to pass through the famous airport gate. A half hour later that gate was bombed. Their plane took them to Germany where they slept in bunk beds filling a football-sized field. Forty-some days later they were in Virginia. In December he arrived in Rhode Island.
Nomanullah is one of six children, the son of a surgeon, who grew up in the lush, temperate, and diverse city of Kunduz. He was sheltered, often literally behind the gates of his home, for fear of kidnappers. By 10th grade, he was sent to Kabul for safety and schooling. Following high school he began learning English and worked at the family business, then enrolled in university to study Economics… just in time for Covid lockdown.
Nomanullah believes that this exposure to insecurity and chaos helped him develop a vision for life that is more than a series of checkmarks—school, marriage, kids—and is a commitment to family and community. He now helps other refugees at Dorcas (our local resettlement agency) and has applied to Brown University! Meanwhile he completed our training and joined our staff to manage a farmers’ market. What a great partner he’s been—excited about learning and serving as an ambassador to help others appreciate other cultures and communities. If you’re local, we hope you get a chance to meet him.