ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) -Migrants who have come to the Capital Region are being helped by the Afghan American Community Center. One bus made over ten trips back and forth from a nearby hotel to bring asylum seekers and refugees in for a warm meal.
President of the AACC, Mohammed Zamani, says he and his brothers wanted to spread kindness from one immigrant to another. “When I talked to my board members, I said ‘Lest we do something good for these immigrants. We are immigrants too in this country,’” said Zamani.
Zamani and his AACC family work to help immigrants adjust to life in the United States. He says the first part of the process is to give them a chance to rest. “These people, they left their home. They’ve travelled, they’re tired. To say in a hotel and they don’t have anybody here, I’m sure they wish to have a hot meal,” described Zamani.
Those who helped prepare the meals say they are giving back for the time that they needed help as immigrants. “This is a great country. As long as you get, you have to give back to the people. That’s the great culture of America and being an immigrant. I was in the same situation,” explained Mir Sadat of the AACC.
Principal of the Annur Islamic School, Sohaib Chekima, says the group is made up of asylum seekers and refugees. No matter the title, he treats them all as new members of the community. We try to call them guests. At the end of the day, we are a community. We are welcoming in whoever comes here. A lot of these people who are serving right now, they were guests themselves,” stated Chekima.
From filling out paperwork to trips to doctor’s appointments, the AACC helps the community. A goal of the organization is to help immigrants achieve independence. “It’s our priority to find jobs for them. They can stand on their feet and have a good life, American dreams,” described Zamani.
Chekima says the next steps are all on the legal side, allowing the migrants to start their life in New York. “We are continuing to assess the situation. We are just getting the information from the lawyers and the individuals that are handling these cases,” said Chekima.