Family fleeing Afghanistan expected in Memphis next week

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – As evacuations continue in Afghanistan, WREG has learned that a handful of refugees will soon call Memphis home.  

The Pentagon tells WREG that refugees are being flown to bases in Wisconsin and Texas. From there, a local group that helps refugees said at least one family will be traveling to Memphis. They’re expected to arrive August 25. 

“They’re coming as SIV visa holders, so there are translators that worked with our soldiers,” said Mark Morris, director of Refugee Memphis. 

Morris said his group will help the family and other refugees adjust to life in their new country. 

“Learn how to go to the grocery store, learn how to just survive in Memphis,” said Morris.  

“My heart is bleeding for my countrymen,” said Hussain Andaryas, who moved to Memphis from Afghanistan.

Hussain Andaryas arrived in Memphis three months ago, but more than 20 years ago he moved to the U.S. from Afghanistan. He said the U.S. troop withdrawal and subsequent Taliban takeover took him and many other Afghans by surprise. 

“Afghans at large feel betrayed, betrayed by the West,” said Andaryas. 

“My heart is bleeding for my countrymen. My heart is bleeding for people in Afghanistan who are running for their lives,” he said. 

Some of those people running for their lives are Andaryas’ friends and family members. Some, like Andaryas, are members of Afghanistan’s Christian minority. 

“The Christians are in fact on the run, in hiding, because if they catch the Christians, they will be murdered,” said Andaryas.  

“Please pray for Afghanistan. Please pray that God will protect and save the innocent,” he said.  

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