More Afghan refugees arrive in Oklahoma, receives help finding housing

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Oklahoma City welcomed its last Afghan refugee this week.

Since August, 1,000 refugees have been relocated to the Oklahoma City metro. Hundreds have arrived over the past few months in Tulsa.

It has been a large undertaking, but CAIR Oklahoma said that Oklahomans have really stepped up in welcoming their new neighbors.

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“It’s been a long time coming,” said Adam Soltani, the executive director of CAIR Oklahoma. “It feels good. It feels like we’ve accomplished something major and that we’ve really shown them what the Oklahoma standard is all about.”

Nearly 75% of the refugees are now in permanent housing, with the majority of the population being women and children. CAIR Oklahoma said the next step is to integrate them into their new home, tackling English and getting the children ready for the upcoming school year.

“The neat thing about that I tell people is that there’s so much potential for them. They’re going to be our future lawyers, our future doctors, future political leaders and we have the opportunity to really embrace that and to show them that you are a part of not just Oklahoma, but the fabric of American life,” Soltani said.

CAIR Oklahoma said that it has been emotional for these families. They have started a brand-new life, thousands of miles away.

“I think the one word is a feeling of being overwhelmed. With a new language, a new culture, with having left everything you’ve ever known behind,” Soltani said.

However, they said that Oklahomans have made this life change easier and have donated more than $60,000 to help these families start new.

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“We make them feel at home, we make them feel like their culture is safe here, their faith and religion is safe and they feel like this is a place where they can raise their families,” Soltani said.