“I have hope. America is my new homeland. I plan on working hard and making my way up. I have to and I will succeed – for my family.”
Rashed grew up amid the violence of the Taliban regime and was committed to helping build a better Afghanistan. After college he joined a power company and quickly rose through the ranks, eventually serving as the director of energy revenue and reconciliation. Rashed and his wife, a successful journalist, had just returned from a business trip in the U.S. in January 2014 when his wife’s office in Kabul was attacked by suicide bombers. Shortly after, both of their parents urged them to leave Afghanistan for good and seek a better life, free of violence and weekly kidnappings.
Rashed and his wife landed in the D.C. metro region in October 2015, as asylees without any work permits or connections in in the area. It took months for Rashed to obtain his work authorization, and then all he could find to support his family—including a newborn child—were a series of low-skilled jobs. He delivered pizza and served sandwiches, trying to learn English as fast as possible. Now, with Upwardly Global’s help, Rashed’s is polishing his English, sharpening his resume, and interviewing for professional positions that would get him back to program management and business administration.