Amina Shinwari

Amina Shinwari, age 10, is the featured photograph on the cover of the Spring 2023 edition of The Journal, which is being released this week.

Amina, born in Afghanistan, resettled to Manhattan, Kansas, in May 2017. She did not attend school prior to her arrival. Now, she is a fourth-grader that thrives in the classroom.

Summer school teachers at Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 worked and volunteered to help Amina develop her English-language skills, hard work that is now paying off, says Aaron Estabrook, who has helped lead the efforts to resettle Afghan refugees in the community.

Spring 2023 Journal Cover

If Amina lived in Afghanistan today, she would be nearing the end of her schooling. The Taliban, which returned to power after U.S. troops withdrew in 2021, bans girls from attending high school and post-secondary institutions.

Read The Journal, KLC’s civic issues magazine, to learn more about the Shinwari family. The magazine’s cover story examines how a team of civic, religious and nonprofit leaders have come together around a common purpose of assisting the transition of Afghan refugees to the community.

Since October 2021, about 120 Afghans have successfully resettled in Manhattan, including five children who were born here, contributor AJ Dome reports in the latest edition of the magazine. The number is expected to gradually climb in the coming months as more Afghans find their way to the Little Apple.

The families, including a group of women who gather to visit and discuss upcoming events, opened up their lives to The Journal’s chief photographer, Jeff Tuttle, for the story. The gallery below shows several of the women in traditional dress, which are hand-stitched by the wearers.

The images show how these women are remaining connected to their culture even as they relish the freedom to be themselves, and free from the oppression of the Taliban, in their new home.

  • Afghan women living in Manhattan gather at a home to visit and discuss upcoming events.
  • Latifa Shakoory

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