BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As thousands arrive in the United States from war-torn Afghanistan, many with just the clothes on their back, the Maryland office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is partnering with local mosques to collect donations for families and evacuees arriving to our area.
Dar Al-Taqwa Mosque in Ellicott City is one of three mosques partnering with CAIR to accept donations. They’re asking for just about anything to help evacuees who are starting over: bars of soap, salt and pepper, school supplies and baby diapers.READ MORE: Man Shot, Killed In Southwest Baltimore
And the donations have been pouring in.
“The response was amazing and this is not only the Muslim community, this is the community at large,” said Hassan El-Kharbibi, Executive Director of Dar Al-Taqwa Mosque.
“Everything you need in order to function on a daily basis are items that these families are going to need,” said Zainab Chaudry, CAIR Maryland Director.
But for Azim Salehi, a member of the Dar-Al-Taqwa mosque, the pain is personal.
“My brother-in-law worked for the Americans and I am very concerned that they are gonna come after him,” Salehi said.
He is trying to help his own family get out of Kabul and bring them here to Maryland, including his fourteen-year-old niece.
“We have heard from multiple people that the Taliban are coming around and they are taking young girls away to marry them to Taliban fighters and it is just a horrible thing to hear,” Salehi told WJZ Monday in an interview.READ MORE: Maryland Residents Starting To Get Booster Shots After CDC Announcement
His niece hasn’t left the house in days out of fear.
Salehi said it’s painful for him to see those arriving at Dulles Airport daily, knowing his family isn’t among them.
“They are relying on me to do something for them,” he said.
But for those who made it here, CAIR is asking for donations to help them rebuild.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Donations will be accepted until Sunday, September
“Our goal is to collect as many items as possible,” Chaudry added.
Dar Al-Taqwa pledged to accept donations through September.
“These are human beings who are going through a very hard time, we need to help and we are happy to help and I hope that this will be enough for them,” El-Kharbibi said.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 1.1K New Cases & 15 Deaths Reported Sunday
Here are the locations, dates and times you can make donations: