Every refugee, no matter where they’re from, has a story to tell that from which we can learn. On Tuesday, April 19, Blair Academy was lucky enough to hear two stories from brothers Mohammad and Frozan Nabizada, both individuals who, today, identify as dual nationals and Afghan-U.S. citizens.
To view their full presentation, please click below:
“We left our country because we had lost our hopes,” said Frozan, referring to the more than three million Afghan refugees who have been forced out of their homes since 2020. According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, Afghan refugees make up the third-largest displaced population in the world, following Syrian refugees and displaced Venezuelans.
“Overnight, I was with my kids and some other friends when we heard that the Taliban were impounding and were at the gates of the city,” shared Mohammad, providing students a deeper look into the grim event. “I made some phone calls and confirmed it was true. Next thing we know, we’re leaving some 20 years of our history, the schools we grew up going to. Thousands of people piled onto flights into New York and Washington D.C. I still can’t believe what happened; it was an unfortunate situation with my having lost close friends.”
Throughout the evening, Mohammad reiterated how lucky he felt to be where he is today. “I was a contractor and in the process, there was a program that gave special visas for our [American] allies,” he explained.
And though he humbly recalled how lucky he felt, Mohammad also revealed how much he and his family had been forced to sacrifice. For example, his wife had once developed a women's fashion brand, Afghan Couture, only to close the store in order to flee to safety.
Today, all members of the Nabizada family work with a group of other Afghan refugees to help one another adapt to their new homes in the United States.
History of Skeptics
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.
The program, which is funded in part by the Class of 1968 Society of Skeptics Endowment Fund, is an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937.
Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon. ’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller and his successor, history department chair Jason Beck, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are thought-provoking, engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please visit Blair’s website.