Afghan Allies and Friends
During part one of this special series, we will discuss the coordinated efforts under Operation Allies Welcome that is supporting and welcoming vulnerable Afghans into the United States. We will discuss how CWS has historically supported Afghan refugees, what we are doing now through the Afghan Placement and Assistance program as well as what experts in the field anticipate. We will explore pathways to protection available for Afghans and consider what steps need to be taken to ensure all vulnerable Afghans are able to seek safety.
Ashley Allibhoy, Associate Director, Afghan Placement and Assistance, Church World Service
Ashley earned her BSW and MSW from Baylor University and then went on to work at Refugee Services of Texas (RST) where she oversaw the Reception and Placement program at RST Dallas and began a career in refugee resettlement. She served in various roles at RST supporting refugee programming across the state of Texas. Most recently, Ashley deployed to Fort Lee to stand up operations to welcome Afghan evacuees. After leaving Fort Lee, she began supporting Church World Service as the Associate Director for the Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA) program which has welcomed over 6800 Afghans across the United States.
Christine Baer, Acting Associate Director for Community Sponsorship
Based out of Lancaster PA, Christine started work with CWS at the local Lancaster office and enjoys collaborating across the CWS network to remove barriers to the long-term integration of newly arrived families. Christine currently serves as the Acting Associate Director for Community Sponsorship, managing and supporting the CWS APA Community Partner program. In her spare time, Christine enjoys caring for her home and garden, rereading Harry Potter, and roller skating at the local park.
Nesar Ahmad,Associate Director- Resettlement, Refugee Service of Texas-Dallas
Nesar earned his BEng from Afghanistan and then went on to work at US Army Corps of Engineering. He was Quality Assurance team leader with US Army corps of Engineers. After he moved to the US, he started working at Refugee services of Texas as Reception and Placement case manager and began a career in refugee resettlement. He served in various roles at RST Dallas supporting refugee programming in Dallas Texas. Most recently, Nesar deployed to Fort Lee and Fort Dix to stand up operations to welcome Afghan evacuees. Nesar recently accepted the Associate Director- Resettlement position at Refugee Service of Texas-Dallas.
Saboor Sakhizada, Afghan Integration Program Associate in Integration, Church World Service
Mr. Saboor Sakhizada was born in the Herat province of Afghanistan and graduated from high school in the capital city of Kabul. As a seventeen-year-old, he started working with the U.S. military and the Department of State as an office assistant. In 2010, Saboor was promoted to a full-time cultural advisor, teaching Afghan culture and counterinsurgency classes to NATO and US soldiers. He was promoted in 2012 and tasked with helping implement counterinsurgency theory on behalf of USAID. Saboor served in this role until he left the country. While in Afghanistan, Saboor began coursework at the American University of Afghanistan.
Mr. Sakhizada immigrated to the United States in 2014. Within weeks, Saboor was volunteering for InterFaith Works’ Center for New Americans and was later named the Match Grant Coordinator for the Center. In 2017 Mr. Saboor successfully transitioned the Matching Grant program to another IFW staff and began his work as one of the nine Navigators in the State of New York. Saboor has gone through the whole refugee resettlement experience and uses his background and experience in his primary role of delivering job opportunities to newly arriving families – while helping them meet their most basic needs in successfully resettling in their new country.
Once in the United States, Saboor resumed his education and received his associate degree from Onondaga Community College in May 2016. His Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, in 2019 his Executive Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, and in 2022, earned the globally-recognized Project Management Profession (PMP) Certificate.
In 2010 during his time and service to US Military, he was the recipient of the Superior Civilian Service Award and in 2015 he received the Community Service Award from Turkish Culture Center.
Click the play arrow in the lower lefthand corner of the video player, below, to watch the session.