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First Coast

Say hello to this Afghan family, newly settled in Jacksonville Beach

Shamila and Dunya_Courtesy of Save Our Allies (1).jpg
Save Our Allies
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Shamila and Dunya, newcomers to Jacksonville Beach.

Jacksonville Beach residents are hosting a Welcome to Your New American Home event to welcome Kaihan, a former Afghan combat interpreter who fought alongside American troops in his native Afghanistan, and his family to their new home in Jacksonville Beach.

A graduate of Afghanistan’s National Military Academy of Afghanistan, the equivalent of West Point, Kaihan served as a translator and military pilot for the U.S. government. Because of his support for the Americans, he and his wife, Shamila, were evacuated from Kabul as the Taliban took over the city. Their now 3-month-old daughter, Dunya, was born on a U.S. military aircraft during the evacuation.

The family is being sponsored by Carol Williams of Ponte Vedra, who felt compelled to help after watching news coverage of the Hamid Karzai International Airport withdrawal. She organized a board of supporters comprising seven Ponte Vedra families to welcome, support, and resettle Kaihan, Shamila, and Dunya. They have provided housing, furniture, clothes and children’s items to the family.

The public is invited to a pizza party to welcome the family to Jacksonville Beach. Gift cards to support the family’s resettlement are encouraged.

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14.

Where: Greater Beaches VFW Post 3270, 915 8th Ave S., Jacksonville Beach.

The event is sponsored by Save our Allies, an Afghan rescue organization that helps people resettle.