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Afghan families settle, thrive in Mojave

30 Afghan families are settling into a mobile home park community in Mojave; project manager says they want to expand
Posted at 6:51 PM, Jul 02, 2024

(CITY), Calif. (KERO) — Thirty Afghan families are finding success as they settle into a mobile home community in Mojave; project manager says they want to expand to include 20 more Afghan families by the end of the year.

  • Nimo Niamat, a project manager, says he wanted to set the record straight and answer any questions about the Afghan families during a Mojave Chamber of Commerce meeting last week.
  • Affordable Community Living is among the groups that are helping the Afghan families as they settle into Mojave.
  • Niamat said he heard that some in the Mojave community thought that over 100 families moved to Mojave and that they were placed in the desert town with no food or shelter, which is not true.


Thirty Afghan families have found a home in Mojave and that number could expand... because of the success claimed over the past three years. I'm Steve Virgen, your neighborhood reporter.

Nimo Niamat, a project manager, says thanks to the success of the relocation over the last three years... he's looking to add 20 more families by the end of the year…

"We've had a bunch of ups and downs, obviously, with everything that happens. But right now we're in a very good position. We have the community in Mojave that's fully supporting us," says Nimo Niamat, Resettlement of Afghans Project Manager.

Niamat gained more confidence about Afghans settling in Mojave after speaking at the Chamber of Commerce last week.

Nimo spoke for nearly an hour at the meeting... telling me he wanted to correct some misinformation.

"There was a rumor of 130 Afghan families, which will come out to about 700 to 1,000 people, which is not true," Nimo says.

Nimo says he also heard that people thought the Afghans were placed in Mojave with no food or shelter... and that isn't true.

The first of 30 families moved to the Santiago Communities mobile home park three years ago.

The Afghan families fled Afghanistan, Nimo said, and the adults were trained by U.S. military.

They worked with U.S. military and were with them on various operations, he added.

"They are from an environment similar to this. They are very familiar with the heat. They are very familiar with this type of lifestyle. They are very familiar with the environment that's here. So the atmosphere and everything is similar to where they come from," Nimo says.

But why Mojave?

Nimo says it's simply because it's more affordable to live in Mojave than in other parts of California.

In addition, the Afghans found a community willing to help, including Richard Simonian, a Green Beret veteran, who is the CEO of Santiago Communities.

He also spoke during last week's meeting and mentioned programs that are helping the Afghans, including Affordable Community Living.

Michele Slade, Longtime Mojave Community Member

"My mantra is knowledge is power … only when applied. And I'm very enthusiastic that the knowledge we gained today - could have been here two or three years ago, however now we have a conduit for communication. And I think that's the most important thing that was needed for our community."

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