A group of Afghan refugees have been welcomed to Oklahoma City by Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City and the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Oklahoma chapter, a Catholic Charities leader said Thursday.

The first Afghan family was met at Will Rogers World Airport by staff members from Catholic Charities and CAIR-OK, Kim Mizar, Catholic Charities’ communications director, said in a news release. She said Catholic Charities provided transportation to a safe, clean environment for the refugees to live in while they transition, and CAIR-OK provided welcome bags and a welcome meal for “our new neighbors.”

Mizar said Oklahoma is expected to receive the third largest group of Afghan refugees coming to the U.S. About 1,800 Afghan refugees are expected, with 1,000 to resettle in Oklahoma City and about 800 to go to Tulsa.

More:‘Part of the Oklahoma standard’: Muslim advocacy group prepares to welcome Afghan refugees

“I believe our work in this space is a direct continuation of the mission of those 13 brave Americans who lost their lives to provide safety and security for these very people, and I for one am proud to be engaged,” Patrick Raglow, Catholic Charities-OKC executive director, said in a news release. “We have been gratified by the outpouring of support from across the community and invite all others of goodwill to do their part in offering welcome to these new members of our community.”

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