“I see myself”: Omaha man saves thousands of Afghanistan

By Abbie Petersen

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OMAHA, Nebraska (KETV) – A man from Omaha said that the mission to get Americans and refugees out of Afghanistan is personal.

Safi Rauf, a former refugee himself, put his life on hold to free the people of Afghanistan.

He has help from a congressman from Nebraska and a nonprofit organization he helped form.

Rauf took a break from UNMC medical school because the mission of rescuing other refugees is so important.

And it shows. Since the start of Human First Coalition, they have saved more than 6,000 people.

One photo shows a young girl holding up some of her artwork with a smile on her face.

She is just one of the thousands of lives the coalition has saved.

“I’m an Afghan American, and I feel like any, all these kids that I see, I see myself in all of this,” Safi Rauf said.

Rauf paused everything to start the coalition. His mission, pay it forward.

But it takes a lot of different people to make it work.

Currently, Rauf has 100 family members on the ground in Afghanistan.

One of his cousins ​​was shot dead, bringing two Americans to Kabul airport.

Fortunately, he survived.

Here in the United States, one of the people working with Safi is Sarah Teske, a retired United States Navy.

“For all those who take care of families. We have become families and see the beautiful bonds that have come from it. This is, this is one of the most powerful things in a 25 year career that I have ever experienced, ”Teske said.

Teske said Congressman Jeff Fortenberry has played a vital role in communicating with neighboring countries.

“He was able to do it, around the clock for us, supporting us around the clock to get our refugees to safety,” Teske said.

So far, they have been able to rescue 6,700 people, including 1,200 Americans.

But they said their job was far from over.

“We have several, several thousand that have yet to come out and that we fear for their lives,” Teske said.

The Human First Coalition hopes to save more than 120,000 people over the next two years.

They are 100% volunteers and said they could always use some help financially.

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