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Afghan natives on their escape from the Taliban, and an update on the SIV program

Anwarulhaq “Farhad” Khurami, Farzana Jamalzada, and Ellen Smith on "Connections with Evan Dawson" on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
Megan Mack
/
WXXI News
Anwarulhaq “Farhad” Khurami, Farzana Jamalzada, and Ellen Smith on "Connections with Evan Dawson" on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
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According to a report released early this month, the U.S. only evacuated about three percent of Afghans who applied for Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) after working for the American government. That means about 78,000 people in that category are still trapped in Afghanistan and facing threats from the Taliban.

Farzana Jamalzada arrived in Rochester on an SIV earlier this year. She had her husband, Anwarulhaq “Farhad” Khurami, had only been married a month before they fled their home country. Their journey to Rochester was facilitated by the local nonprofit organization, Keeping Our Promise.

This hour, Jamalzada and Khurami share their story, and we discuss the latest with the SIV program. Our guests:

  • Farzana Jamalzada, Afghan native who served the U.S. military
  • Anwarulhaq “Farhad” Khurami, Afghan native
  • Ellen Smith, executive director of Keeping Our Promise
  • Laurel Prothero, assistant director of Keeping Our Promise
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.
Emmarae Stein is the production assistant for "Connections with Evan Dawson."