The Afghan Women Project Guidebook was drafted by business and professional women, many of whom were themselves immigrants to the United States.
A living document, it is intended to provide a starting point for your journey towards success in your new lives, and a repository for your experiences as you balance yourself between your past and your future.
As President of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs in the United States, it has been invigorating to welcome displaced Afghan Business and Professional women and to share our advocacy, support, and training while you settle down all over this beautiful country.
I view this guidebook as an opportunity for our organization to live our mission to develop the professional, business, and leadership potential of women at all levels in a direct and compassionate manner.
We look forward to welcoming you into our organization, and we humbly hope that you will find our guidebook and our networks helpful as you begin your journey in the United States of America.
Since 1919 NFBPWC has been a resource and its members have been Allies to women such as you.
National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs
This handbook is based on a series of common reactions grouped as:
- Positive Experiences – this may help defuse misconceptions about life in America, and it may help ease the transition to making the US your home.
- Learning Experiences – we have all had “Ah Hah!” moments when we finally understood the local ways of doing things, local slang, habits, preferences, jokes and taboos.
- Fundamental Differences – there are some differences that cannot be bridged but can be embraced if understood.
- Frustrations – food is different, the language is not like you learned it, you do not know where to get or do something, you cannot communicate your need – we want to help.
- Fears – In the US people say there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Fear often is linked to insufficient communication or understanding, to assumptions being made by you and others.
- Tears – You left your world behind. This one is very different. We have all had tears – but have learned how to move forward.
- Recommendations – Many people want to help and many of them think they are helping, but do not understand what you are saying or asking. These recommendations are intended to smooth the path.
A Living Document
This handbook is oriented to be used anywhere, which is why we close it with a compendium of resources available locally, which we invite you to add to!
Please contact Program Chair, Nermin Ahmad with suggestions, additions, or changes for inclusion on a rolling basis in the guidebook.