Hasinat’s life began in Kabul, Afghanistan, a city with a rich history and a complicated reality, especially for women. Her family lived an ordinary life, but as the Taliban’s influence grew stronger, Hasinat’s family realized they had to leave the country to ensure their safety and future.
They spent two weeks living in a refugee camp, grappling with their traumatic experiences and the unfamiliarity of a new land. Hasinat’s mother, Hafiza, was hospitalized due to her injuries, and Hasinat could only pray for her mother’s recovery.
«My mother was in a coma, there was a monitor with digits going up and down. I could’t do anything. I just prayed to God for the safety of my family and life of my mother» – Hasinat remembers.
After a couple of months they moved to the U.S. and settled in Minnesota, where Hafiza continued her healing process in a local hospital. Hasinat lived in fear that her mother would lose her memory or mental faculties, due to the 6 month coma but thankfully, Hafiza remained lucid and continued to recover.
«When we arrived life in the US was challenging. For nine months we lived without clear immigration status. But eventually, life began to normalize» – shares Hasinat.
She started school, found work, takes care of her mother and her 15-year-old brother. Despite her own struggles, she also finds ways to support her family members left behind in Afghanistan. Inspired by the compassion and dedication she saw in the nurses taking care of her mother, Hasinat aspires to become a nurse herself. She dreams of serving others with the same empathy shown to her mother during her recovery.
Around 75,000 Afghans have relocated to the United States since the summer of 2021. In cooperation with the State of Minnesota, Alight took the initiative to create homes and implement community programs for incoming Afghan families. The current efforts are centered around fostering vibrant communities through programs like Women’s Sewing Social and field trips for Afghan women and youth to explore Minnesota’s landmarks and events.
It was here that Hasinat met Sonia, the Afghan Program Lead at Alight.
Hasinat began participating in Alight’s programs for youth and women, finding solace and strength in the community these programs fostered. She formed new friendships, building a network of support that has been instrumental in her journey of resilience and adaptation.
Hasinat’s journey is far from over, but with the support of Alight, her newfound friends, and her unwavering determination, she holds onto hope and perseveres with her dream of reuniting her family and becoming a nurse.
“I miss my family in Afghanistan and my big dream is to reunite with them. It’s very challenging because of the security situation and the restriction on passports» – says Hasinat.
Hasinat’s story is a powerful example of the unbreakable human spirit. Even though her journey was filled with struggles, her story is ultimately one of hope and determination, shining brightly with the positive transformations she’s undergone since landing in the U.S.