Welcome to Your New Home

Episode 1

The stranger escorted the three girls into a dark, cold apartment in a country they only knew through television shows. For 16-year-old Baran, her 31-year-old sister, and their 4-year-old niece, it did not feel like the refuge they imagined as they fought their way through desperate crowds at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, in August of 2021. “The first night that we came to Utah, it was a very horrible situation,” said Baran, who doesn’t use her real name in […]

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A Personal Connection

Episode 2

16-year-old Baran and her older sister woke up in their new home in Salt Lake City thinking they needed to find help. It was winter, their power was out, the heat wasn’t working, their 4-year-old niece didn’t have warm clothes, and they had no phone – no way to reach anyone.  That morning, they ventured out onto the snowy walkway connecting the apartments to try talking to neighbors in the complex. “When we go outside, we see that there is […]

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Sisterhood of Embroidery and Artillery

Episode 3

When the taxi abruptly stopped in traffic, the 25-year-old woman tried not to look at the heavily-armed Taliban soldier who approached the passenger window of the car they prayed would carry them to a new life.  As the soldier questioned her 18-year-old nephew, she kept her gaze down, only sneaking a nervous glance at her mother and toddler son, who were squeezed into the backseat of the taxi next to her. She was terrified they wouldn’t make it to the […]

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Bridging the Gap

Episode 4

On a quiet Sunday afternoon, a flurry of activity erupted outside of a strip mall in a suburb of Salt Lake City. As dozens of cars pulled in and families dressed in their Sunday best piled out, even one of the organizers was alarmed at just how many people showed up.  “Oh my gosh,” she exclaimed, “This is a bigger crowd than I thought!” Nazifa is a refugee from Afghanistan who arrived in the US in 2002. She doesn’t want […]

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The Need for Friendship

Episode 5

On a Sunday afternoon in August, a 25-year-old man walked into a lake on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas and never came out.  Rescue workers gave up the search that night when it got too dark to see. But the next morning, they found his body. His name was Mohammad Saleem, and he was one of the Afghans who was evacuated to America after the U.S. military pulled out of the country in 2021 and the Taliban took power. […]

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Small Hands

Episode 6

The 5-year-old girl knelt on the carpet next to a white piece of paper and rummaged through a collection of colored pencils in a large can. While she searched, she glanced at the woman sitting next to her on the floor.  “Put your eyes closed!” she ordered. After a few seconds, she thrust a pink pencil high above her head in triumph. She remembered the woman said she liked pink. Then, with the pencil in her grasp, she pushed her […]

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The Stranger Becomes Neighbor Team