Refugees from Afghanistan, who have recently been accommodated in a hotel in St. Louis are being helped by people from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) who are citizens of this city.
Afghan families after arriving in St. Louis are located in the Hollywood Casino Hotel. They are among the lucky ones who managed to leave Afghanistan in August just before the Taliban officially took control of their country.
On the third floor of the hotel, in a couple of rooms, there are several Afghan families with children. The children are playing in the lobby of the hotel as if they were in their old park in Kabul.
However, adults are not as carefree as children and theyconstantly ask themselves: How quickly will they find a solution? Where will they live? Where will the children go to school? What job could a father do?
Ajmal Arazem explained there must be an answer to all these questions. As a security guard, he supervised the United States (U.S.) base near Kabul when he was still in Afghanistan. When asked how difficult it would be for him to support his nine-member family, he sighed. The first thing they need to do is to find an apartment, then to learn English, but also for him to get a driver’s license.
Shortly after the Afghan families were accommodated in the hotel, Dzemal Bijedic brought them aid. The truck and van were filled with bananas, cookies, chips, cereals, croissants, oranges, cookies, jam, juice, Afghan bread, and other necessities. Once the refugees find homes, they will also get furniture. It is delivery on behalf of the House of Goods Baitulmal, a charity of the Islamic Foundation of St. Louis.
Bijedic arrived in St. Louis from BiH on December 27th, 1997, when he was nine years old.
“I am still a refugee. I am proud of that. No one helped us. We would go to the alleys to find furniture and use food stamps. It was difficult,” he told.
He stressed that the accommodation of refugees in a hotel is a new turn in St. Louis.
“It will be difficult,” Bijedic saif for Arazem and the other refugees, adding: “When we came to the U.S., they already had an apartment for us.”
Arazem and several other Afghans were grateful for the donated goods. They used luggage carts to carry things to the third floor.