Thousands of Afghan refugees live in temporary housing in beach resorts in Albania. Before the start of tourism, in the cold winter, tourist accommodations were also opened for people fleeing the Taliban.
The Afghan man, Nimatullah, thanks Albania for its patronage and says that although he has visited several countries, Albania is the friendliest place in the world.
Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Canada are the few countries that have responded to the US government’s call to take in Afghan refugees who were evacuated by the Americans after the Taliban took control.
In August 2021, about 2,400 people arrived in Albania to stay there temporarily until an immigrant visa to the United States or Canada could be arranged. Ottawa entered into an agreement with Washington to grant them legal immigrant status. So far, about 300 people have been issued visas and have already traveled. The others are still waiting.
Mustafa worked as a journalist in his homeland. He explains that it is very difficult to start a new life. A US or Canadian visa can only be started from Albania if a decision has already been made about applying for it legally.
The first experience shows that the process of the US administration is longer than the Canadian one, says the Afghan woman, Zainab.
He has been waiting for a month, at first he promised that the administration would take three months. There is no guarantee that they will all obtain a visa. The US government did not comply.
Financially, 12 US non-profit organizations support their stay in Albania, with some organizations having employers in Afghanistan.
Mihosin misses his family very much, and his loved ones remained in Afghanistan. He is in touch with them by phone, but is worried about them because no one knows what will happen under Taliban rule.
So Albania is a transit station for those evacuees from Afghanistan.
The Afghan woman, Najila, is happy to say that Albanians are good when they go shopping, they meet good people.
“Friendly thinker. Wannabe social media geek. Extreme student. Total troublemaker. Web evangelist. Tv advocate.”