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He came to Kansas City to escape the Taliban. Now he’s warning others of genocide in Afghanistan

Qasim Rahimi came to Kansas City in June 2021 after the U.S. military withdrew from Afghanistan and the Taliban took over. Rahimi is a member of the Hazara, an ethnic minority group that has faced decades of violent persecution at the hands of the Taliban, and now he’s working to warn the world about the genocide being carried out against his people.

Qasim Rahimi is a former journalist and spokesperson for the National Environmental Protection Agency of Afghanistan. But he wasforced to leave his titles and home behind in 2021 when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan’s government.

Since then, he’s moved to Kansas City, and now works to help other immigrants settle into lives in America. Since coming to the U.S., Rahimi says he still feels great fear for the violence that members of the Hazara ethnic minority face everyday at the hands of the Taliban.

Rahimi says he’s doing his best to raise awareness about the Hazara's struggles so that they can one day be free of persistent persecution in their homeland.

“We are facing a genocide,” says Rahimi. “We can’t change the past, but we can look to at least protect the future of our people.”

Rahimi and his wife, Samia Tahiri, joined KCUR’s Up To Date to discuss their flight from Afghanistan, their worries for the family they left behind, and what they hope will be done to keep the Hazara people safe.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
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As an assistant producer on Up To Date, my goal is to amplify voices of people who serve as pioneers in their respective fields while shedding light on issues that affect underserved communities. I produce daily conversations to uplift and inspire the people of the Kansas City area to make the world a better place. You can reach me at reginalddavid@kcur.org.
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