Afghan refugees

Afghan American Helps Refugees in Virginia While Trying to Get Family Out of Afghanistan

Alam Niamadi
NBCWashington

An Afghan American man has been working to help Afghan refugees arriving in Northern Virginia while trying to get his own family out of Afghanistan.

At his warehouse, Alam Niamadi sorts donations bound for refugees at Marine Corps Base Quantico.

Niamadi is a U.S. citizen, but his sisters are not. They went to the Kabul airport to try to escape the country as the violence escalated.

"They're running, and what happened was there was a smoke bomb came, and there was fire (firing weapons) was in sky. They were firing," Niamadi said.

His sister kicked the smoke bomb away from her family, but they never made it any further.

With the United States now out of Afghanistan, it's unlikely his sisters will join the thousands of refugees at the Dulles Expo Center.

"I hope everything’s gonna be okay, everybody's family can come," Niamadi said.

The U.S. military left the Kabul airport intact in case others left behind can find a way out.

Khaleeq Ahmad is a U.S. citizen who was an Afghan refugee in the 1980s. A restaurant owner, he is cooking for Afghan refugees. He understands how a meal can fill a person up, in many ways.

“We need to make something for them that will really make them feel like they're home again," he said.

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