Article and graphic by Grace Payne
Roughly five months ago, Fahim Dawood and his family were forced to flee their town, Laghman, Afghanistan, because the Taliban was taking over. They rushed to the Kabul International Airport in hopes of getting on a flight to safety. On August 15, 2021 the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan, dismantling and suppressing women’s rights and media freedom, some of the greatest achievements of the war. On August 30, 2021 the U.S. withdrew all lingering troops from Afghanistan, thus ending the war. Although the war seemed so far away it has affected people here at school.
For a couple of days, the U.S. military was able to help Afghans board planes. Dawood and his family were able to get on a flight to Germany. The German evacuation plane landed on Sunday and on Monday the Taliban declared victory over the president and the government fell into ruin. Dawood was sent to a refugee camp in Germany and, after four days he and his family were sent to another refugee camp in Texas. Officials in Texas asked them “where do you want to go?” Dawood responded, “My brother is here so we went to California because that’s where my brother lives.”
Now, Dawood is a student here at Santa Rosa High. He is working on his studies and grades and enjoys playing soccer. When asked about how he likes SRHS he said,“the school is good and the students are friendly.” Dawood expressed concern when talking about how his grades were not transferred to America .“I didn’t get grades from Afghanistan because the school is closed…I called my friends and they couldn’t get my grades.” Dawood shared that in Afghanistan he would be a senior at 16, but in the United States he has to be a sophomore due to the shortfall in his transcripts.
Although the war has been going on for 20 or more years, most Americans are just now experiencing and seeing the effects of the war.