The whole world is watching the situation in Afghanistan, days after the Taliban, a militant group that ran the country in the 1990s, took control of the capital, Kabul, after the United States decided to withdraw armed forces that had been in place for two decades.
In Northeast Ohio, there is an estimated 500 Afghan families, and the scenes of Taliban insurgents storming across the country, capturing major cities in a matter of days can be devastating to watch, especially with many of them being recent immigrants through the US State department's SIV program, which stands for Special Immigrant Visas. They are given to Afghans who helped the US Government during the war effort either as translators, teachers, or assisted in other ways.
The Biden Administration expanded the SIV program at the end of July to allow for 8,000 additional visas for Afghans to be authorized. But the process can be lengthy, and many are hoping to leave soon, as they are worried the Taliban will carry out revenge attacks against those that helped America during the war. Others fear that women and girls will be at risk of being barred from attending school or working outside the home, like it was when the Taliban last ruled the country.
To start this hour, we're going to hear directly from some of the Afghan community in Northeast Ohio, and we'll talk to a resettlement agency that is preparing for an influx of refugees and immigrants coming from the country. Then, we'll discuss a new web series that gives homage to Cleveland's seniors leaders, called Roses: Living Legends. And, we profile another winner of this year's Anisfield Wolf Book Awards.
-Ron Hedrick, Director
-Afghan Cultural Liaison
-Chardonnay Graham, Co-Host, "Unspoken" & Owner & Creative Director, Touch Cleveland
-Charles See, Former Executive Director, Community Re-Entry Program, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry
-Vincent Brown, Author & Anisfield-Wolf Book Award Winner