Computer scientist starts new life in Spokane

As a self-described “tech guy,” it’s no secret that Idris loves computers. With his passion for technology and bachelor’s in computer science in tow, he served the U.S. government in his birthplace, Afghanistan, for more than 10 years.

Idris and his wife, Frozan, remember the good years in Afghanistan. Long before landmines littered the picturesque mountains, before the reign of terror began, life was beautiful.

In 2008, Taliban fighters shot and killed Idris’s father when they were together in the car because they had found out Idris was working for the U.S. government. Because theTaliban didn’t recognize him through the glass, Idris’s life was spared that day. But the terror didn’t end there.

Over the next few years, Idris and his entire family were continually targeted. He received threatening calls and menacing notes on the door of his home. One Friday in 2014, Idris was enjoying a day at the park with his friends. His cell phone rang and he answered. A voice on the other end told him he could see the blue kite Idris was flying at that moment. He knew he then and there that time was running out. Fearing for his life, Idris applied for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), a travel permit awarded to Afghans and Iraqis whose lives have been threatened as a result of their service to the U.S. Government. Six months later, Idris and Frozan packed up everything and left, boarding a plane to a place they had never heard of before: Spokane, Washington.

Idris and Frozan had no idea what to expect. They had visas permitting them to live in the U.S. and less than a month’s worth of money in their pockets. They assumed they were now on their own in a new country, and Idris wondered how they would manage. To their surprise, they were met in the Spokane airport by a smiling woman who received them with a welcoming embrace. It was Lyndsie, their World Relief case manager. Idris was beyond relieved – here were people to help him and his wife. They joined the Match Grant program and Idris told his job developer, “I don’t care that I have a bachelor’s degree. I don’t care that I have ten years IT experience. I will work in a hotel. I will work in a shop. I will do anything. This is the start of my new life.” IMG_2712

Today, Idris and Frozan are the proud parents of a two beautiful boys. They are the first American citizen in their family. Frozan is caring for Mustafa and continuing to learn English. She hopes to one day attend nursing school. Two weeks after their arrival Idris began a job in a call center. The job was difficult and many new hires left after the six-week training. Idris remained at the call center for seven months before applying for a position with Apple. After a demanding interview process, Idris was hired. He is now an Apple Genius! He is deeply valued by his manager and coworkers. He has loyal customers who occasionally stop in just to say hello. And Idris is once again doing what he loves!