KQED’s Shuka Kalantari today visited Fremont’s “Little Kabul” district to get a feel for how this community of Afghani refugees, many of whom emigrated after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, is reacting to the death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of American special forces. Her interviews below:
Asad Saleh has owned the Little Kabul Market for six years and has been living in Fremont for three decades. He is worried about his cousins, aunts and uncles still living in Afghanistan, whom he fears could experience a backlash from fundamentalists.
Asad Saleh: “The Big Devil is gone”
- Sahar Omar, originally from Kabul, works at Afghan Bazaar on Fremont Street, in the heart of Little Kabul. She came to Fremont in 1998 and currently lives in San Ramon. Last night, after the news broke, she got a congralulatory call from her cousins in Kabul. She says she’s happy that Bin Laden was killed and that all the Afghanis she’s talked to today feel the same, but she is scared about what will happen to her family in Afghanistan. She’s afraid that extremists in mourning will retaliate.
Sahar Omar: “It’s good news that someone like him is dead”
- Mahamad Atiffi was interviewed while waiting outside of De Afghanan Kabob house on Fremont Blvd to order food. He’s lived in Livermore for 30 years and came to the U.S. because of the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan. He says he worked for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan in 2008 and 2009. “My role was to help to find the terrorists, that’s all I can tell you,” he said. He has brothers, sisters and cousins in Kabul.
Mahamad Atiffi: “I never did like the guy.”
- Marshall Baber was outside of De Afghanan Kabob House on Fremont Blvd to fix an electrical problem. He’s lived in the Fremont area for over 30 years and has returned to visit Afghanistan a few times. He’s originally from Kandar. He says Bin Laden’s death is good news for Afghanistan and calls Bin Laden an ‘icon of terrorism,’ but he thinks He was in Afghanistan last year, he has his sister there. He’s worried about her, but he says Afghanistan is a country that has been at war for his whole life. He’s concerned the U.S. will drop their commitment to Afghanistan now that Bin Laden is dead. He wants the U.S. to be more aggressive in Pakistan.
Marshall Baber: “This guy was an icon of terrorism.”
- The Afghans of Fremont (City Journal)
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