An Afghan refugee has faced backlash for his tweet criticizing the food he is receiving in the United States.
Americans are debating what we owe Afghans after a 20-year fight in their country — and what they owe us.
Hamed Ahmadi, a 28-year-old Afghan blogger and Fulbright semifinalist, tweeted his non-complaint Thursday along with a photo of a small meal he said he received at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
Not complaining but this is what I got last night for dinner and the next meal is 12 hours later. Refugee life might be safe but never easy & favorable. Fort bliss El Paso Texas. #AfghanRefugees #afghanistan pic.twitter.com/2X7eP8Uwa0
— Hamed Ahmadi (@ahmadihamed_) September 2, 2021
Ahmadi is one of nearly 30,000 Afghan evacuees the U.S. has said are being housed and processed at domestic military facilities, with more than 30,000 more on their way.
WHAT THEY SAID
The right: Amid bipartisan support for welcoming Afghan refugees to the U.S., some immigration skeptics on Twitter have accused Ahmadi of showing a lack of gratitude to America.
- “So we rescued you from Afghanistan and are giving you food that the taxpayers are paying for and you have the nerve to complain?” asked former GOP congressional candidate Lavern Spicer.
- Amy Tarkanian, a former chairwoman of the Nevada GOP, quipped: “I was unable to reach a homeless veteran to ask how they like their free meals and free housing because they don’t get those things. Also they don’t have iPhones.”
- “Among the 13 American troops killed in Afghanistan on August 26 was 20-year-old Rylee McCollum. He was weeks away from the birth of his first child when he died,’ said Pedro Gonzalez, an editor at Chronicles Magazine. “In exchange for his and the other’s deaths, Republicans and Democrats imported ungrateful people like this.”
The left: But liberal journalists and activists have given Ahmadi a much more sympathetic hearing.
- The Independent reported that the hardships he and his family faced “would very likely silence any detractors or trolls claiming that Afghan refugees are only after a better life.”
- “The point of that tweet was not … to be complaining, to be very critical,” Ahmadi told the U.K. newspaper. “I was just describing a situation of Afghan refugees that are in the situation that they never really wanted to be in.”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration plans to grant “most” Afghan evacuees parole on “humanitarian” grounds, according to a recent Customs and Border Protection memo.