Sadri Family’s Story

By Appaswamy “Vino” Pajanor

Mushtaq and his family were a typical Afghan family, living their lives, working, and attending school. Everything was normal unit the Taliban took control, changing their culture and community.

“The Taliban made it difficult for everyone, not just for our family or me. It is so difficult because the woman can’t work. The women can’t go to school, college, everything. My sister wants to study and attend college; she has goals.”


The changes in the Afghanistan Government affected the entire family and crushed his sister Bibi Maryam’s dream of becoming a Doctor. Their unwavering support for each other lead them to make the life-changing decision of leaving their home and fleeing for freedom.

With an uncertain future, the family fled to Qatar. From there, they traveled to Bahrain to catch a flight to the United States. They landed in Washington, DC, and were sent to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they waited in a Refugee Shelter until finally coming to San Diego three and a half months later.

“When we arrived in California, we went to Catholic Charities and enrolled my family’s name.  After, I think, a couple of months, they called me. My case was approved, and they worked to help me and my family sign up for benefits. Catholic Charities helped to find an apartment for our family. They have a lot of workshops too, these classes helped us to find work, for a job.”

It has been a year and a half since the Sadri family made the decision to leave their home. Today, they are living in an apartment in San Diego, Mushtaq, Bibi Maryam, and Mahdi, their older brother, are all going to school. Thanks to the support of her family, Bibi Maryam is on the path to becoming a Doctor.

Bibi Maryam said, “I am happy I can go to college; I can go to work, and I can do anything, not just work and study.”

As the Sadri Family adapts to a new culture, there have been significant changes to their way of living. For the first time, the Sadri women contribute to the family’s financial support. Both Bibi Maryam, and her mother, Qudsia work at the bakery of a local grocery store. Mushtaq also works in the produce section of the same grocery store.

Mushtaq said that as the family continues on this new path in life, Catholic Charities continues to help them.

“They showed us how to apply to get a job, how to learn the culture of the USA, everything. We have a lot of freedom and a lot of opportunities here.”

Catholic Charities will continue to support the Sadri family on their journey, supporting them with resources, workshops to understand the culture of the United States, and case management for all the family members.

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