(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 09/22/2021) – Today the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Oklahoma chapter (CAIR-OK) welcomed the arrival of the first Afghan Refugees to our state after they landed in Oklahoma City late last night. An interfaith delegation welcomed them alongside Catholic Charities staff and provided them with welcome kits containing items such as a copy of the Qur’an, an Islamic prayer rug, PPE items, and essential hygiene products. The family was also provided with clothing, much of which has been donated by the community over the last week.

SEE: Oklahoma organization putting together kits, collecting donations for Afghan refugees

In addition to the welcome kits, our new neighbors were also provided halal food from a local Muslim restaurant as a reminder that their faith and culture are safe and celebrated in Oklahoma.

“It is an honor to work alongside our partners to serve these new neighbors as they settle in,” said CAIR-OK Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure. “CAIR Oklahoma is uniquely positioned to help make sure that their transitions are smooth, compassionate, and welcoming, and we are happy to be a part of this historic effort and welcome our Afghan friends to the Oklahoma family.”

CAIR Oklahoma is continuing to collect donated items that will assist the refugees as they transition to life in Oklahoma. These items include, but are not limited to, clothing, hygiene items, PPE supplies, school supplies, and winter items. Other donation drives, including winter gear, baby supplies, and school supplies for children, will be posted to the organization’s web pages and social media as more information becomes available.

“Right now, we are focused on sorting out what we have and on meeting the immediate needs of these families as they arrive,” continued Ms. Laizure. “However, we do also anticipate needing the community to step up in other ways, including in the areas of housing, medical care, storage for donated furniture and housewares, education, counseling, and more. There will be many opportunities to get involved, so we encourage everyone to reach out to us and stay tuned to our social media accounts as we learn more.”

SEE: Supporting Afghan Refugees in Oklahoma

According to confirmed reports, Oklahoma is expecting 1,800 Afghan refugees to arrive over the coming months with 1,000 that will be relocated to Oklahoma City and 800 that will be relocated to Tulsa.

Report: Oklahoma to receive 3rd highest number Afghan refugees in the nation

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Oklahoma Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure, 405-430-9877, vlaizure@cair.com; CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani, 405-248-5853, asoltani@cair.com