Who are the Afghan Newcomers? Understanding the Background and Socio-cultural Strengths and Needs of Afghan Evacuees to the U.S.

Hosted on October 26, 2021, this training was delivered by Farid Saydee, President of Language Mentors International; Durana Saydee, Research Associate with Language Mentors International; Haris Tarin, Sr. Policy Advisor, Dept. of Homeland Security; Rosalind Ghafar Rogers, Consultant with U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI); and Wais Khairandesh, Mental Health Therapist.

This webinar provided an overview of events leading to the displacement of Afghan newcomers to the U.S. (also known as evacuees from Afghanistan). It also covered the social and cultural aspects that distinguish this population from other refugee groups in the United States. This foundational information was designed to help participants be better positioned to properly support newly arrived Afghans through services that align with their socio-cultural strengths and needs. Attendees also had the opportunity to ask questions of a panel composed of qualified experts on the topic.

This webinar is aimed at all resettlement service providers who will be working with incoming Afghan clients, including humanitarian parolees, Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders, and others. The webinar is also beneficial for community members who are interested in learning about the latest developments in Afghanistan and the various intersecting struggles Afghan new arrivals may face post-resettlement, for the purposes of easing and facilitating their transition to life in the U.S.

By the end of this webinar, you will be able to:

  • Define “Afghan newcomers” and recognize the events that have led to their displacement;
  • Name basic cultural guidelines related to “do’s” and “don’ts” when interacting with Afghan clients;
  • Name expectations and misconceptions about resettlement services in the United States that you may encounter among Afghan clients; and
  • Communicate with the Afghan newcomers more effectively using provided tips and guidelines.