MUNCIE — As Afghan refugees are beginning to be released from military bases across the country to their permanent U.S. homes, Muncie has started to welcome its first new neighbors.

In the past two weeks, MARRC (Muncie Afghan Refugee Resettlement Committee) has helped settle three individuals, and Bibi Bahrami, founder of AWAKEN (Afghan Women's And Kids' Education and Necessities), said the organization is expecting three families by the end of October.

The first to arrive two weeks ago was a 29-year-old man named Edris, who fled Afghanistan back in August as thousands attempted to leave the country through Hamid Karzai International Airport during the Taliban takeover. (His full name is being withheld because of concerns over the safety of those still in Afghanistan.)

While MARRC has mainly been working to relocate refugees from Camp Atterbury, Edris — who can speak English — came from Fort Bliss in Texas.

"(Edris left) during that crowd and difficult time, and he was lucky to get on a flight," Bahrami said. "That's how he was able to get out."

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