HOUSTON - A family is resettling into a free world after escaping the wrath of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Refugees arriving in the U.S. usually don’t want to show their faces on camera in fear of retaliation, but this man spoke exclusively to us.
He wants the world to know he’s safe and thankful for the big and small things.
Freedom is something unfathomable for Afghans like Atiqullah in a land ruled by the Taliban. He only wants to go by his first name for security reasons. He was with Special Forces in the Afghan Army for 8 years. It put him on the target kill list with the Taliban.
"He was scared because they are the enemy and we are trying to find a safe place," said the translator for Atiqullah.
He desperately tried to figure out how to escape after the Taliban takeover and was granted humanitarian parole status. It is a ticket to a future for him and his family the free world.
"He's happy he is safe here. If he was there, the Taliban may kill him," said the translator. "He says he feels safe here. He sleeps well, so everything is good for him and his family."
His wife and small children now calling Houston home. A couple of weeks ago, they all crammed in a full military plane to leave the Taliban territory as soon as possible. There is also another small reason why the family had to quickly flee and come to a safe place.
After landing at Ft. Bliss Army Base in El Paso, their baby girl was born free; a title they now all have together.
"It's going to get better day by day," said the translator.
Interfaith Ministries is helping Atiqullah and his family. Since July 1, 2021, the organization has resettled 116 refugees from eight different countries. Of these 116, refugees, 66 are Afghans. The organization is expecting to resettle about 1,000 more by March of next year.
Congressman Al Green says, to date, Texas may receive about 4,400 Afghan allies in the following weeks, and the city of Houston will accommodate approximately 2,800.
"I look forward to assisting in this endeavor and extending a hand of friendship to new arrivals in the Ninth Congressional District and across the greater Houston area," he said.