Audio Recording of Interview
Fardin Ghafoor grew up in Afghanistan where he was constantly moving between provinces due to violence between militant groups, lamenting on his lack of a peaceful childhood. Though his work offered him temporary security, he eventually brought part of his family to the United States in 2018, where the language barrier and cultural adjustment has proved difficult for them.
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Narrator: Fardin Ghafoor
Content Warning: Death threats
Summary: Fardin Ghafoor grew up in Afghanistan where he was constantly moving between provinces due to violence between militant groups, lamenting on his lack of a peaceful childhood. Though his work offered him temporary security, he eventually brought part of his family to the United States in 2018, where the language barrier and cultural adjustment has proved difficult for them.
Topics: Childhood, Multiple Displacements, War, Education, Violence, Immigration Process, Employment, Threats, Family, Cultural Adjustment
Section One (0:00-12:49)
Childhood - Fardin lived in Kabul, Afghanistan until high school. He reflects on how his childhood in a third world country was affected by so much fear that the children here in the United States do not have to worry about. He laments not having a normal childhood.
Multiple Displacements, War - He was always escaping from one province to another especially between Kabul and Herat, due to war between different groups including Russians, the mujahideen, and the Taliban.
Education - Fardin could not attend school because it was not safe for people to come outside of their homes.
Violence - Different groups controlled different parts of Kabul and would fire rockets at one another.
Immigration Process - He decided to leave the country in 2014 and applied for a special immigrant visa program. He was granted a visa after four years and came to the US in November 2018.
Employment - In Afghanistan, Fardin worked for a contractor for the US military, delivering fuel, food, and clothing to military bases, and teaching the Afghan National Security Forces Dari and Pashto. He believes the projects the US military implemented in Afghanistan were for the benefit of the people and felt that he was helping to rebuild the country. However, this work also put him in danger. However, he felt that the companies he worked for gave him security and shelter.
Threats/Violence - Because his work supported the US, Fardin would receive death threats via phone, targeting him and his family. He and his colleagues had to travel in armored vehicles with security guards and were attacked several times.
Section Two (12:49-21:45)
Family - It was difficult for Fardin to leave behind his mother and six siblings but he wanted to raise his children in a place where they could be happy and free.
Cultural Adjustment - Although Fardin had interacted with Americans before in his work, it was difficult for his family to adjust to the loneliness and language barrier in White Plains, New York, especially for his wife who was often alone at home. If the situation in Afghanistan ever improves, he and his wife would definitely go back.