He never imagined that it would come to this.
Last year, Maihan Saeedi was working in Afghanistan for the government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. He has his Ph.D. in International Studies and enjoyed his job. But on August 15, 2021, everything changed.
On that day, the Taliban took control of the presidential palace in Kabul after former President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. There was no smooth diplomatic transition of power. It was chaos—and incredibly dangerous for many Afghans.
Maihan and his brother knew they had to get out.
After days of trying to get to the airport, they finally gained access and soon had a flight heading to the United States—and they were leaving everything behind.
“I lost everything. But I can’t complain because I am one of the lucky ones.”
After Maihan’s arrival to the States, he bounced around to different cities, living on their respective military bases. After a while, he was connected with a family member in Florida who suggested he come stay in the Orlando area.
But once Maihan moved, there was the pressing matter of finding work.
When he heard about Lutheran Services Florida’s efforts to assist Afghanistan refugees’, he was eager to join the team and help. Working with LSF would mean offering a unique and necessary perspective to the organization’s initiative.
“There are so many barriers to settling in—finding housing, stable employment opportunities, getting the right resources. I understand their pain and suffering, so I can use my experiences to help.”
It’s been a year since the Taliban took control and Florida welcomed hundreds of Afghan refugees. Maihan says he is still in touch with those he helped toward the beginning of his service.
“Some are doing well. But there are others who are still struggling.”
And while they work to build new lives, Maihan and his team at LSF will continue to fight to get them the resources and support that they need to thrive.
If you’d like to assist in LSF’s refugee resettlement efforts, please contact us at Refugee Resettlement Services & Immigration Services | LSF (lsfnet.org).