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Saturday, July 13, 2024

First Afghan American Re-elected To The New Hampshire House Of Representatives

Safiya Wazir, a former Afghan refugee, wins a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives

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Omid Sobhani
Omid Sobhani
Omid Sobhani is a senior journalist at Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Transcontinental Times.

AFGHANISTAN. Herat: Safiya Wazir was a 6-year-old child when her family fled the Taliban in 1997. After living in a refugee camp in Uzbekistan, she migrated to the United States in 2007. Today, Wazir holds a seat for a second time as the representative of New Hampshire state in the United States of America. The former Afghan asylum seeker received US citizenship in 2013, marching her way as a community activist for the support of refugees through politics. Ultimately, she joined the Democratic Party.

Wazir is the first former refugee to serve public office in the New Hampshire House of Representatives after winning the general election in November 2018. She ran for a second time this year as a state representative.

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The former Afghan refugee representing New Hampshire

Safiya Wazir / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Wazir fled Baghlan province of Afghanistan when she was a child, stationing first in Uzbekistan for over a decade, and finally moved to Concord, in the United States of America in 2007. In 2018, she defeated 4-term incumbent Rep. Dick Patten in the New Hampshire State legislature primary to become the first former refugee to represent the state.

In an interview with APNews, Wazir said,” I did see all those hardships, but it pays off because the more hard work you do, the more people like you. The more energy that you put in, people really see that somebody is actually working for them.”

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The State House of Representatives elections takes place twice a year, and this year after vying with Dennis Soucy, Wazir owns a seat in New Hampshire State.

After winning re-election as a state representative, Wazir pledged to continue fighting for the working families of Concord where she is a resident in NH. “It’s been an honor to serve and help the working families of Concord Ward 8. During this unprecedented time, we need to stand up together and help one another.” She tweeted.

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Afghan women find opportunities in the United States

Meanwhile, Zainab Mohsini, another Afghan refugee, was also once a candidate for Virginia. Afghan women continue to emerge in US politics as Afghanistan makes life harder for women to progress.

Afghan women could enter US politics after establishing themselves in the US. Women in Afghanistan do not possess the basic rights to fill high political profiles. And if they did, they would have much difficulty in the patriarchal society of Afghanistan with men harassing them.” Atefa Mahdawi, a woman activist from Herat, says via WhatsApp, “Afghans grow better in foreign countries than in Afghanistan because they have security there.”


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