EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – In Oklahoma, there are 1,800 new neighbors who have fled from Afghanistan this year.

As you can imagine, it’s been a massive change for them – and leadership is putting out a new guide for us to help them in their new journey.

“It took us several months to get here,” said Dr. Feroz Bashari, an Afghan refugee. “It was a tough journey. Things were terrible back home.”

Bashari, his wife and their five kids fled Afghanistan in February.

Now, living in Edmond, their home is adorned with memories from the past – like working as a translator for the late Senator John McCain, as well as new memories from their new home.

“United States is a great country,” Bashari. “In particular, Oklahoma. We found it a very nice place to live.”

Nearly 2,000 people like Bashari are adjusting to a new life here in Oklahoma after the end of the war in Afghanistan – but they need some help.

That’s why the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council of American Islamic Relations is updating its guide to Islam and Muslims in Oklahoma to help all of us better understand their culture.

“You might notice some people will not look at into your eyes,” Bashari said. “It is not offensive. You might consider it. Is he or she not looking into my eyes? It is because of culture differences.”

Through those differences, Bashari believes we can find common ground.

“The good thing is that we all live in coexistence and democracy, living together, mutual respect and that makes us great people,” he said. “That makes the United States great.”

You can find the new guide on CAIR-OK’s website and Dr. Bashari’s also has YouTube series on the topic.