A man who fled Afghanistan four years ago to settle in Iowa Falls is still waiting on word to learn if he can stay in the United States.
Zalmay Niazy came to America in 2014 after threats on his life as he’d been working as an interpreter for the U.S. military in Afghanistan. The 29-year-old says it’s been a very long wait for a visa.
“I applied for political asylum and I had my interview in Nebraska last year,” Niazy says. “The results are supposed to be declared in two weeks and it’s more than a year now and I haven’t heard anything from the asylum officer.”
Niazy met with Iowa U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley in February of 2017 during a town hall meeting in Iowa Falls and told the senator about his situation. Grassley promised to review Niazy’s application but there’s still been no word.
“I am confident but I don’t know about the legal process and what today’s government and rules and regulations,” Niazy says. “I hope I hear good news.”
While in Afghanistan, Niazy says he’d been shot twice and survived a roadside bombing. His family is still in Afghanistan and he’d like his parents to move to America.
“I have a regular conversation with my family based on Skype and Facebook,” he says. “I talk to my parents. I really miss them and they really miss me. My mom and dad, one of their big hopes is to see me again.”
Niazy says he’s very grateful to his adopted community for being so hospitable.
“I’m very lucky that I live in Iowa, especially Iowa Falls,” he says. “I’ve been living there for four years now and I’ve been treated very, very good and I am proud to be an Iowan now.”
Niazy operates a handyman service in Iowa Falls. He spoke recently in Webster City about his life and the Muslim faith.
Thanks to Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City