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You Turned Sina’s Scars into Stars

You Turned Sina’s Scars into Stars

Thank you for building a community of healing for survivors of torture.

After an increasing volatile and unsafe political situation came to a head in his native country of Afghanistan, Sina was forced to flee his home with little money or preparation. Sina had no choice but to escape  to the United States as a refugee in 2006, heartbreakingly leaving his wife and three young children behind. All too quickly, Sina found himself alone in a strange new country.

Not speaking any English and being illiterate in his native language, Sina had a hard time adjusting. Eventually, he was able to find a job in an auto mechanic shop. But Sina was plagued by the lingering effects of the trauma he had experienced in Afghanistan. He badly wanted to see his family again and to bring them safely to the U.S. . However, he knew this would not be possible without first obtaining his own U.S. citizenship, which seemed like an insurmountable problem.

Sina first heard about AACI from a friend who was a client of AACI’s Center for Survivors of Torture (CST). Soon after, Sina decided to pursue services with CST as well. He now comes to AACI every week for counseling, case management, or to see a primary care physician at the Health Center. CST also supported Sina with the long process of obtaining his U.S. citizenship and passport.

After much preparation, Sina went to his citizenship interview accompanied by Zahra and Natasha, two CST team members. “The process was both exciting and scary. I was scared not to get it, but I knew the CST team was waiting outside of the office for me. It made me feel better,” said Sina.

That day, Sina’s N-648 waiver was accepted and he was approved for naturalization. He was thrilled!

Today, Sina has regained hope in his life and looks forward to seeing his family again. He said, “Now that I am American, everything is going to be better. I am very happy. I like to be happy and feeling like this – I have never been happy before. I want my kids to grow up here with me, not in a warzone. I want them to feel safety in a place where nobody will hurt them. I want to bring my family here so they can get the same happiness that I have.  I hope CST helps me with that.”