The school newspaper of Oakville High School


The school newspaper of Oakville High School


The school newspaper of Oakville High School


Afghanistan to America

Abids build new life in America after escaping the Taliban
Allyson Christopher
Halima Abid (12), plays a Gimkit in her government class. “In school, I love playing Gimkit,” Halima said, “My favorite game is the jumping one called Don’t Look Down.” Halima said that if she could play any game in school, she would choose Gimkit.

In August of 2021, Halima Abid and her family of 15 others bravely fled Panjshir in the midst of war when the Taliban invaded Afghanistan. 

Translating for Hamila, Masi Abid, also an Oakville High School senior and brother of Halima, said, “There was war in Afghanistan, so my dad worked with the American people to leave because when the Taliban came, they were going to kill us.”  

Roving from place to place for three months, Halima, along with five other family members, traveled from their home in the province of Panjshir to Kandahar Afghanistan, then to Indiana. Then in November, they finally arrived in St. Louis, Mo., where their grandparents had already comfortably settled. The other seven family members arrived in Missouri the day after, coming from Mexico. 

After being in America for a couple months, it was time for Halima to start her new journey of education at Oakville, along with learning the English language. 

“This school and the education here is really good,” Halima said. “I like school in America better than school in Afghanistan.”

A few of Halima’s favorite classes at OHS include drawing, gym and biology.

Halima explained that back home, a normal school day in Afghanistan had 16 classes every day, some including math, government, drawing, science and even language classes such as Pashto, Arabic, Farsi, Dari and English. The shorter school day is definitely one of the biggest pros to American school in Halima’s book. However, a downside that came with school in America was the culture clash and language barrier. 

“The different people and culture was hard,” Halima said, “but I love English. Learning English wasn’t too easy, but wasn’t too hard.” 

Putting all of her struggles aside, Halima loves absolutely everything here and is super positive about all of her new experiences with nothing bad at all to say about America. She even still finds ways to tie her culture into her new life with food and religion. She has seen so much, and would still like to see more. 

“I love American food like McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A,” Halima said.

However, she still makes food from back home.

“Yes, I am always making food from Afghanistan,” she said excitedly. “I like to make rice, kabob and mantu.” 

Masi, translating for Halima, said that food in America differs from food in Afghanistan because all of their foods with meat are chicken based. The Abids practice and engage in the religion of Islam, so their food has to be 100 percent pork free, which can be hard to come by in America. 

However, there is so much to do and see in America through Halima’s eyes. She thinks the people and places are way more fun than back home.

 “I would really want to visit downtown St. Louis and Chicago,” Halima said. “There is not much to do in Afghanistan, just home, school and back home.” 

While under the rule of the Taliban, Masi and Halima do not plan on going back to or visiting Afghanistan.

“It’s because of the Taliban,” Abid said. “If we go back, they find out and punish us.” 

Halima’s 21-year-old sister is still living in Afghanistan and has hopes and plans to come to America as well.

“You have to get approval on your case to come to America,” Masi said. 

The Abids still keep in touch with their sister in Afghanistan through phone calls and text messages, and hope she will too get to live a safe, free life in America some day like them. 

“It feels really good to know,” Abid said, “that we are finally safe with our family in America.” 

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