ROCHESTER, N.Y.—After fleeing Afghanistan, Muhammad and his six children landed in their new hometown on the day the capital city of Kabul fell to the Taliban. The family’s fortuitous escape marked the start of another difficult journey.
Muhammad had spent his first night in America in the emergency room of a Virginia hospital, struggling to breathe. He was overcome with worry about his wife, Aliya, who was stopped from boarding their flight from Kabul because of a visa problem. With only minutes to set their course, she and Muhammad agreed to separate. He would take the children to the U.S. alone.