The story behind Ahmad Naderi’s cause
Like most Afghans, Ahmad Naderi was threatened in his country over a decade ago.
But instead of staying in Afghanistan, Naderi – then a 15-year-old high school student – left and took his family with him.
Within days, he and his family were in a van on the way to a refugee camp in Pakistan.
At the camp, they were housed in a one-room shelter with no heat or toilets.
But Naderi’s life there could not compare to that of his family in the United States. He was able to attend a private high school in the DC area and learn to speak English.
Many friends still call him “Boy,” and his love for politics and research has given him a deep understanding of the nation’s history.
After graduating high school, Naderi enrolled at the University of South Carolina.
After completing his degree, he went on to earn a master’s degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Throughout his time at the two schools, he found time to volunteer for humanitarian programs and spoke out against the Afghan government’s refusal to grant Afghans permits to be part of the nation’s security forces.
All the while, Naderi dedicated much of his free time to a humanitarian organization that helps collect and distribute aid in Afghanistan.
In January, his good work caught the attention of staff at The Children’s Home in Montgomery County, Maryland.
The family helps refugees from war-torn countries. Once Naderi finished his master’s degree, the Home asked him to work in the refugee shelter as an apprentice.
Naderi was offered a position as flight instructor at the home and the Children’s Home gives him no salary, instead providing housing and rent to the non-profit that employs him.
By the time the Home’s renovation project is complete, Naderi plans to construct and install a large-screen TV and a Wi-Fi connection to share around the facility.
Until then, he is working as a safety expert in the operations room of the shelter.
As with his passion for research, Naderi looks forward to researching anything that is the process of a journey.
He has also volunteered to study the state of play of refugees in the DC area.
As part of his studies, he has spoken to local Muslims about what he has learned during his time in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Naderi’s experiences reflect those of the many immigrants who come to America seeking a better life.
And like many immigrant families, the Naderis are deeply thankful to have entered this country.
For more information about the Children’s Home of Maryland, or to volunteer, visit childrenshomemd.org or call 301-397-6640.
But Naderi has already begun to plan his next project.