Afghan freshman enrolls at Burroughs


Emma Kimbler

Freshman Haroon Faizi is ready to start his new journey in Ridgecrest.

Mahnoor Ahmad, Copy Editor

Moved to Ridgecrest in hopes of finding safer opportunities after the Taliban took over their home country.
One of the family members is BHS freshman Haroon Faizi, who attended his first day on Jan. 26.
While being able to fluently speak Pashto, Dari, and Urdu, he is also able to speak some English. He recently shared his thoughts on his move.
“So far, I like it here in America, but I consider Afghanistan my home,” said Faizi. “I’ve noticed that California and Afghanistan have the same weather, and there are a lot of mountains there too.”
Before Faizi’s family moved to Ridgecrest, the U.S. Army brought them to New Mexico and Florida, then decided to have them finally settle here because of the cheaper living conditions.
In his free time, Faizi rides his bike around the neighborhood with his siblings. He has two brothers and three sisters, along with four cousins who moved to Ridgecrest as well.
“I’m glad I have my cousins here with me, but I still miss my family in Afghanistan,” said Faizi. “Occasionally, we call them and talk about how we are doing.”
Faizi spends 25 minutes each day at 5:30 in the morning to ride his bike to the local Ridgecrest Islamic Center, in order to pray the first prayer of the day in congregation with the rest of the Muslim community.
Once the community and others found out that Faizi’s family moved to Ridgecrest, they gave them immense support by donating clothing, furniture, and other commodities to help them get started.
Changing schools is hard enough, but changing countries? Faizi is looking forward to making some new friends. If you see him, be sure to say hello.
“Haroon is a fun student to have in class,” said English Teacher Ernestina Palerm Wilson. “He likes to make people smile and laugh. He greets everyone when they come in.”