Navigating a new way of life: St. Louis’ Afghans describe challenges refugees face here

ST. LOUIS — Other than choosing to leave Afghanistan for safety concerns, a former politician named Ahmad has many decisions made for him these days. Such is life in the United States refugee resettlement program, a system weighed down by rules and high demand.

But one big choice was left for him:

Where would you like to live with your pregnant wife and three children?

Out of 19 options nationwide, he chose St. Louis.

“I selected this city because it’s an agricultural city,” said Ahmad, who allowed part of his name in print because he still has family in Afghanistan. “I want to do a good business in this area, and St. Louis is a mixed culture.”

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