Jacksonville organizations prep for incoming Afghan refugees

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax obtained exclusive video from translator Abdul Najibi on the ground in Afghanistan.

He sent a video of a member of the Taliban intimidating refugees on the Taliban-controlled side of the Kabul airport. He said the Taliban is threatening crowds of women and children with guns.

Najibi recorded himself during his time in Afghanistan earlier this week.

“I just want to give you some updates on the recent situation of Afghanistan,” Najibi said in part of his video.

Action News Jax was also given exclusive photos of the streets in Kabul on the way to airport, as Afghans desperately try to flee the country.

“There are more than 25,000 people just waiting to get out from this place because their lives and their family are (at) risk. The situation is getting worse every moment, and it will cause such a bad side effect for the people who work on behalf of the U.S. government,” Najibi said.

Some of those fleeing are soon coming to Florida.

You can help Afghan refugees right here in Jacksonville. The Nabi Akram Center is collecting specific items for incoming men, women, and children, including other generic items like phone chargers, bottled water and hand soap.

“When they sent out a plea for items to come in here, then I thought it was my duty to do that,” resident Bob Henning said.

People like Henning dropped donations off at the center for incoming refugees, who are soon arriving in Jacksonville with practically nothing.

“We want to make sure when these refugees come, they know that they’re not alone and that we are here to hold their hands and help them get accustomed here,” Nabi Akram Center volunteer Mariam said.

Mariam said the situation hits home.

“My parents themselves were refugees. Seeing this footage I can only imagine what they had gone through as well,” Mariam said.

Now they want to open their home to those risking their lives for a better one.

The center will take donations on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and again from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. It will also be open Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

To find out what you can donate, read the flyer below:

MORE INFORMATION ON DONATING: The Nabi Akram Center is collecting donations for incoming Afghan refugees.

Organizers said they need all kinds of donations, from baby formula to pillows and clothes.

The donations can be dropped off at the Nabi Akram Center, Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The center is located at 1840 Anniston Rd. near Mandarin.

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Below is a full list of items the organization is collecting:

Women:

Modest clothing, shoes, sandals, socks, undergarments, Hijab, hairbrush, towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, nail clippers, lotion, shampoo, feminine hygiene products, and deodorant.

Men:

Clothing, shoes, socks, sandals, underwear, combs, razors, shaving cream, deodorant, towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, nail clippers

Children:

Milk formula, diapers (all sizes), clothing, shoes, socks, underwear, baby food jars, towels, pacifiers, sippy cups, toothbrushes, toothpaste, tear-free shampoo, nail clippers, combs/hairbrushes, lotion, baby powder, diaper rash cream, coloring books, crayons, small toys/stuffed animals (no small pieces), wipes, baby bottles, vaseline

Miscellaneous:

Phone chargers, bottled water, green/black tea, tea kettles, thermos, cups, hand sanitizer, face masks, prayer mats, hand soap, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, bandaids, pot and pan set, dish set, cups (tea/drinking), twin sheets, queen sheets, bathroom trash can, kitchen trash can, broom, pillows, blankets, utensils, dish soap, dish sponge, kitchen towels

Items can also be shipped to 1776 Anniston Rd. Jacksonville, FL, 32246.