above: The Salahi family asked to attend the 11 p.m. Christmas Eve service, during which they were introduced to the congregation.
In February 2022, the Saint Mark's community met the Salahi family at a moving Wednesday forum -- video of that forum may be seen here. They are a family from Afghanistan that this cathedral is assisting as they begin their new life in the U.S. The Salahi family has sent the following message to the cathedral community:
Dear St. Mark's community,
We are writing to provide you with an update on our refugee resettlement process and to again, thank you so much for your wonderful support. As our mother, Razia Salahi says, "the love from our friends at St. Mark’s is much appreciated and is the source of joy and peace for the family”. Our hearts go out to our fellow Afghans and to those struggling in Ukraine. We understand their pain and the significant challenges involved in leaving everything you love and know behind to seek safety.
We've now been in the US for six months and in Seattle for three months. Our time has been marked by the opportunities and challenges of resettlement life. On January 25th, we moved into our apartment and the five of us - especially our mother - have made it our new home. Solaiman has received a job offer and started to work from March 21st. Zobair is spearheading the lengthy legal process for each of us to follow the immigration laws and system including meeting with lawyers (many provided by St. Mark's contacts) and focusing on specialists with the asylum process. Our current status will expire on September 8th, 2023. This is an ongoing part of our daily life.
Zobair is also seeking employment and is open to jobs in academics and policy research fields. Any leads would be great. On Friday, March 18th, Rohanya started school at Shoreline Community College to study English and then move on to technology studies along with Harris who will study sound engineering. Razia is keeping our family's spirits up as we all adjust to the ups and downs of life here.
We look forward to meeting with you again and are available to connect with St. Mark's members.