SALT LAKE CITY — Many refugees who fled Afghanistan to resettle in Utah are still getting adjusted, but they’re also excited to celebrate their first Christmas.
Mohammad Tamim Solhadost has only been in Utah for about two months, but the 23-year-old is already helping others by volunteering to teach English at Horizonte Instruction.
“I help new arrivals here. I translate the teacher’s lessons for students,” said Tamim.
In Afghanistan, Tamim studied English literature at a university in Kabul. He left the country abruptly during his second year following violence in his home country.
That danger prompted Tamim and his family to escape Afghanistan.
“We were trying to get inside the airports in that time … we were faced with a lot of things, bomb blasts, firing, every second we hear,” said Tamim.
On August 30, Tamim was the last person to leave with the U.S. Army.
“I feel sad, our people is not safe in Afghanistan," said Tamim. "They are hungry … they are trying to sleep, to forget the hungry moment.”
Tamim is now living near Liberty Park in Salt Lake City with his mom and sister. He says resettling in Utah has been more than he could have hoped for.
“I don’t know, how can I say, it’s all like a dream. When I arrived here, Christmas is coming. It’s like when you come from the war place to the brightness of trees, it’s an amazing feeling,” Tamim explained.
And Tamim received his first Christmas gift last week. An avid soccer player for the last 14 years, Tamim loves the game and got the chance to play soccer at the University of Utah.