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'It takes the whole community to help' | Afghan refugees move to central Iowa to begin new life

An Afghan refugee and his family are now living in the metro five months after being evacuated from Afghanistan.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A former member of the Afghan army and his immediate family now call Iowa home.

This after fleeing Afghanistan for their lives when their government fell to the Taliban back in August of last year.

Rabi Mohmmadi, his wife and their three young kids are now living with his brother, Nabi Mohmmadi, in the Des Moines metro.

Nabi was a former interpreter for U.S troops and moved to this country in 2013.

"I [lived] in Afghanistan," Rabi said. "When [the] Taliban attack[ed] in our country and then Kabul, capital Kabul, we lost everything."

Rabi was a major in the Afghan Army for nearly 10 years. When the Taliban took over, he knew his family, parents and other siblings needed to get out.

He said they tried to evacuate through the Kabul Airport, but that didn't work.

That's when his brother contacted state senator Zach Nunn, who was connected with Argo, a private group helping thousands of Americans and Afghan allies to safety.

"We've gotten over 2,000 American citizens and our Afghan allies many of whom have served on nine or more combat deployments …out of the country," Nunn said.

Rabi is one of those people.

"We were able to get him and three children and his wife out of the country," Nabi said. "They went to, first they went to Qatar and then from Qatar to Bahrain. Then from there to Washington, and then from Washington to Wisconsin."

Rabi and his family lived in a camp in Wisconsin for five months.

While there, he and his family had access to courses like learning English, but he said it was tiring doing the same thing every day. 

"We could just not wait to get out of the camp and just live the normal life," Rabi said.

Normal life started this week when he and his family were allowed to come live with his brother. 

He's now happy and working towards the goal of giving his little ones a better life. 

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"[I want to] improve my English, take my driver's license and then also start working to be able to support the family," Rabi said. "Then down the road planning to go to college and get a degree."

Although those plans are for the future, right now he is thankful to everyone for helping him get where he is right now.

His brother shared those same sentiments and hoped the community would be kind and help all of the refugees in the area

"Hopefully we can find families who want to sponsor a family and take them like to go grocery shopping help them apply for a job," Nabi said. "It takes the whole community to help and not just a few individuals."

Nabi and Rabi have parents and other siblings still in Afghanistan. Nabi mentioned he does not know how long they will have to be there. 

Nabi also volunteers with Lutheran Services in Iowa, which helps refugees. If you want to help volunteer or help out refugees through LSI, click here.

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Watch: Iowa Air National Guard supporting Afghan refugees