Refugee shares story of escaping Taliban and starting new life in Eugene | News

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EUGENE, Ore. — It’s been over a year since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, creating chaos in Kabul and forcing thousands to flee their homeland.

Some found refuge in Eugene, one of them being Sayed Maqsood.

“It was a very bad situation; everyone was trying to get to the airport so they could get out of that country,” Maqsood said.

As chaotic as it ended, Maqsood said the day began just like any other.

“I was working as a finance manager at a company, and so I went to my job and started working. Then I hear a sound like a bomb explosion and gun fire. We were all scared, and we thought they were at the back of the door,” Maqsood said.

While he said they were used to hearing bombs and gunshots, this was like nothing they had ever been through. He said everyone immediately began rushing home to start strategizing and plan their way out.

“We start going to the airport, and no one was thinking that I’m guaranteed I’m going to get out of this country,” Maqsood said.

Forced to leave his family behind, Maqsood and his younger brother rushed to the airport where the Taliban was taking over.

“There was a group of Taliban in front of the airport, and they were shooting,” Maqsood said.

Thankfully they managed to get on a plane and headed to Qatar, then Germany, and finally landed on U.S. soil.

“We had to separate into different military bases, where I was there for five to six months. They welcomed us with open arms and provided me with everything when I came to Oregon,” Maqsood said.

Maqsood has now been creating a new life in Eugene, where he’s been working at the Graduate Hotel.

“It’s very nice, and everyone is so kind. I love the hospitality industry,” Maqsood said.

Back home, Moqsood worked as a finance manager but said he had to find a new line of work when he came to the states.

“Everything is different; I have two bachelor’s degrees, one in business administration and one in political science. So, all my experience, all my degrees become nothing here,” Maqsood said.


But he is thankful for this opportunity, even though the past ten months have been an understandably tough adjustment.

“We are learning every day from each and everything; we are learning a lot about how to settle, behave, and talk,” Maqsood said.

Maqsood is very happy in Eugene and looking forward to this new start.

“I love Eugene; the people, the nature, I love it,” Maqsood said.

Refugee shares story of escaping Taliban and starting new life in Eugene | News

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