The Wash

The Afghan Resettlement Report

The Afghan Resettlement Report looks at the journey of evacuees fleeing Taliban rule following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Six American University students report on local efforts to welcome evacuees into the U.S. and how they are navigating government resettlement systems.

The U.S. military withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021, ushering in a new era of Taliban rule in the country, and jeopardizing the livelihood of thousands of Afghans. While many were able to flee the country before the evacuation, many were left behind.

Evacuees wait to board a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 30. U.S. service members are assisting the Department of State with a Non-combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) in Afghanistan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Victor Mancillal)

For the Afghans who made it to the United States, a long journey of resettlement and integration lies ahead.

The Afghan Resettlement Report looks at the journey of evacuees fleeing Taliban rule in Afghanistan, how they are navigating the U.S. government resettlement system, and how they are being welcomed by nonprofits and local communities.

This podcast was reported and produced by the graduate broadcast journalism students of American University’s School of Communication.

Thank you to the local experts who shared their time and knowledge with the reporters of this podcast:

Mark Greenberg, Senior Fellow at Migration Policy Institute
Hannah Tyler, Research Analyst at Bipartisan Policy Center
Monika Evstatieva, Senior Producer of Investigations at NPR
Glenn Luther, Former Photography Instructor in Afghanistan
Rep. Abigail Spanberger, (D-VA) (Statements from House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on 9/13/21)
Noah Klose, Community Outreach Manager at Homes Not Borders
Billy Coleburn, Mayor of Blackstone Virginia
Lea Ruscio, Field Operations Lead for Team Rubicon
Kenneth Speicher, Parishioner at United Methodist Church
Timothy Young, Press Secretary for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Huneressa Fariad, translator from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society
Taliha Masroor and the rest of her family, owners of Bistro Aracosia

Supervising Faculty: Jill Olmsted, SOC Professor 

Heidi Kirk

Heidi Kirk is a Washington, D.C.-based reporter interested in covering human interest and politics. In the past, Heidi has reported for The Arkansas Traveler, Work It Daily and has held multiple broadcast television internships.

Heidi is currently a graduate student at American University, where she reports for the Investigative Reporting Workshop. She covers Dupont Circle for The Wash.

Haley Murphy

Haley Murphy is a MA candidate and graduate ambassador at American University School of Communication. She is a former Associate Producer for ViacomCBS in Sacramento, California and is focusing her studies on broadcast journalism.

Rosie Hughes

Rosie Hughes is journalism graduate student and research assistant at American University focusing on audio storytelling, reporting and production.

Kahindo Musungira

I am a broadcast and storytelling journalist earning my master’s at American University. I am interested in covering equity and social justice issues.

Mike Pesoli

Mike Pesoli is a graduate journalism student at American University. He is a broadcast journalist and digital storyteller. Mike is passionate about community reporting and arts and entertainment journalism. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Shelby Fishman

Shelby Fishman is a multimedia student journalist specializing in broadcast news. She majored in journalism at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and is continuing her education at American University.

She has written for Modern Luxury magazine and is currently an assistant commerce editor at MarketWatch and Dow Jones.

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