Soft Landing Missoula hosts Welcoming Week, shares refugee stories

Zoe Buchli

Editor’s note: First names only of Afghan refugees were used in this story to protect their security.

Sitting next to her son on a stage, Farida cried as she recalled her tumultuous journey from Afghanistan to western Montana, one that often left her feeling lonely until recently when she was re-connected with her 20-year-old son.

On Tuesday at the Zootown Arts Community Center, three Afghan refugees shared their stories of traveling from their home countries to Missoula. The event, part of Soft Landing Missoula’s Welcoming Week, is accompanied by an exhibit titled “Stories of Home,” a project that tells the stories of refugees’ experiences to and in western Montana.

The exhibit is up at the ZACC through the end of the month. Banners feature each person’s stories and photos.

Farida arrived in Missoula in 2016 seeking asylum in the United States. When she escaped Afghanistan, she left behind her children, including Sohil. He was 12 years old at the time. This year, the two were reunited when Sohil arrived in Montana in March.

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