The first Afghan refugees have arrived in Oklahoma. The state is expecting around 1,800 people: 1,000 in the OKC metro and 800 in the Tulsa area.
Imad Enchassi, the Senior Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, said their organization is focused on empowering the refugees once they get to the state by helping them with things like legal aid, medical care and trauma support.
“I was there yesterday at the airport as the first family arrived. The hope, the anticipation and the joy in the eyes of the children is well worth it,”Enchassi said.
The Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City along with other religious organizations are welcoming Afghan refugees with open arms.
“When there are trials and tribulations it is a test not only for them but for people who are watching from a distance,” he said.
Enchassi said Wednesday's welcome is just the beginning and more work and donations are needed.
“We thought it would be important to have the halal diet that is similar to Jewish kosher diet along with the clothing and lodging and everything that they need and most importantly console them and show them spiritual support for them and their families,” he said.
Oklahomans can donate on the ISGOC website. Enchassi said there is also a place to fill out your information if you can provide legal aid, medical care, transportation, and other services.
“Afghan being geographically between Pakistan in Persia, so they speak between Dari, Pashto and Farsi,” he said.