Dallas International School helps refugee family from Afghanistan
As an immigrant and head of Dallas International School, Josep González holds a special kinship with the global community and compassion for those seeking asylum.
So, he wanted to act when he heard the story of a refugee family fleeing to Dallas after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban.
“Those of us who have immigrated from Europe or France, in my case Spain, our parents or grandparents have been through world wars, civil wars, their countries have been destroyed,” González said. “It means that when we see something happen in Kabul or anywhere else on the planet, we feel that directly.”
As the leader of one of Dallas’s most diverse educational institutions, a French-language school dedicated to teaching children of all backgrounds, González knew he could help integrate a family seeking refuge in Texas.
Mohammad Afzal Afzali, a translator linked closely with the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, brought his family to the safety and sanctuary of Dallas this October.
They were greeted at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport by González and others from the school, where educators plan to integrate the children at a comfortable pace.
Dallas International School can help transplants adjust to the education system and expectations of both American society and the international community, González said. “We stand for internationalism.”
With over 40 nationalities in attendance at campuses in Preston Hollow and North Dallas, the unusual institution aims to help children of all backgrounds understand what it means to be good Samaritans and global citizens.
At the end of the day, it’s about feeling part of a common humanity so that we can all feel part of the great human adventure and promote solidarity across the planet.Josep González
“Here in Texas, we’re very much part of the local and national landscape, but at the same time, internationalism is very important for us,” González said. “Citizenship and international citizenship is key in what we teach our students.”
With a duty to the global community, it only made sense to act after seeing a news story about the Afzali family earlier this year.
Having utilized local resources, lawyers, and the help of U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas, in bringing stranded teachers back to America during the pandemic, González and the board at Dallas International School had the resources necessary to reach out to their most recent refugee family.
“It’s important that our students learn, not just from what we say,” González said. “It’s important they learn from what we do. At the end of the day, it’s about feeling part of a common humanity so that we can all feel part of the great human adventure and promote solidarity across the planet.”