Nashville Jewish Federation helps free Afghan man, reunite with family
Family reunites after 18 months of fear, hiding and separation.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville partnered with other local agencies to help free and reunite a man who was stuck in Afghanistan.
Javid and his family were reunified at Nashville International Airport after 18 months of fear, hiding and separation. The Federation has been helping to resettle Afghan refugees who arrived in Nashville last year.
Javid’s family escaped to the U.S. after the Taliban invaded Afghanistan in August 2021. During the mass-exodus, Javid’s brother, Abdullah, ushered his 10 family members through the gates to the Kabul airport to board a plane.
“We are running and the gate’s a little bit open for us,” Abdullah said, “and people from everywhere are running and they want to get in with us.”
Amidst all of the chaos, Javid fell and was trampled.
“They closed the gate and I said, ‘My brother is left.’ The soldier said to me, ‘If we are not closed the gate, 50,000 people come into the airport.’”
Abdullah made the painful decision to leave Javid behind or risk the rest of his family not making it to safety in the U.S.
While Javid was in hiding with a death threat from the Taliban on his life, Abdullah was settling in La Vergne, working to bring his brother home.
A release from The Jewish Federation said, “The process to bring Javid to Nashville was long, grueling, and dangerous, and involved the coordinated work of an entire community, including United States Senator Bill Hagerty.” It involved efforts between The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville, The Temple, Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE), the offices of immigration attorney Greg Siskind, state lawmakers, and Jewish community volunteers.
Abdullah said those volunteers helped make difficult life in La Vergne - providing for a family of nine other people in the home - much easier.
“They like support me for car, a lot of they send me for my appointments, they helped me for the car, for driver, for everything,” he said. “For food, for financially, up to the end. They helped me for my brother, they find a lawyer and a lot of helpers.”
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