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First refugee from Afghanistan arrives in Utah

Posted at 3:46 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 23:09:43-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah welcomed its first Afghan refugee to the Beehive State since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last month.

Azim, an air traffic controlman at the Kabul Airport, arrived at Salt Lake City International Airport Tuesday. During his time as a controlman, Azim worked with the U.S. military and NATO forces.

First Afghan Refugee
Azim (right) stands with his case manager, Abakar, after arriving at the Salt Lake City International Airport on Tuesday.

Catholic Community Services of Utah is working with Azim to resettle him in Salt Lake City; not only finding him a place to live, but also offering him job placement, health services and other assistance he and other refugees may need.

According to the agency, Salt Lake City is one of 19 cities that will be receiving refugees from Afghanistan. According to Aden Batar, the CCS Director of Migration and Refugee Services, more cases have already been approved with additional refugees expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

Gov. Spencer Cox had previously said that Utah would welcome refugees with open arms.

“When tragedy occurs somewhere on the other side of the world, Utahns are always quick to show concern and willingness to help out. My office has received countless calls and emails from individuals, families, businesses and organizations offering to do something to support the efforts to bring Afghan refugees to Utah," said Cox in a statement.

Anyone who would like to help Afghans relocate to Utah, Catholic Community Services said the best way to assist would be with financial donations.