LIVING AS A REFUGEE IN AMERICA: AN INTERVIEW WITH IMAM ZIA (2/6)

“We kept going back and forth from our village to the eastern part of Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan. We would stay there for a few months and once we felt things were calmer we would return home but as soon as violence started erupting again we would flee. We did this a few times until we realized that it was not practical anymore. The hope we were holding on to, that the conflict would soon come to an end, started vanishing. The Soviets raided our village one day, which consisted of no more than 100 to 150 families because they were fired upon from our village. As soon as the people heard the Soviets were coming, the villagers either fled their homes or started running and hiding in the grape vineyards. The Soviets came that day. They raided the houses of unarmed civilians. They went house to house and inside the vineyards and killed people on the spot. At the end of the day when they left the body count was 50 people. There was no house that didn’t lose someone. That was a turning point for us. Experiences like that made us realize that it’s clearly not safe anymore.”

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