From Kabul to Alexandria: Job Hunting in the DC Metro Area
Context: I had a good conversation with Farhad Hashemi while riding back to Alexandria from Washington DC. Farhad is job-hunting and driving Lyft part time in the interim. He is a very smart guy with a strong background in program management and administration. If you have any leads on potential opportunities, please reach out to him. His contact information is included.
Bryan: How long have you been driving? How has it been for you?
Farhad: I have been driving two months with Lyft. Job hunting is time consuming but I need to cover my basic expenses so I became a Lyft driver. Usually I drive for 4-6 hours during the day and after that I resume my job searching.
Bryan: Do you have any interesting or funny experiences from driving?
Farhad: Well, I am meeting different people every day while driving. I don’t have a specific story but can say that dealing with drunk, exhausted, and/or very sensitive passengers can be challenging. Sometimes they enter the wrong address by accident and blame me for it. Some people prefer to drive fast and others slow. I take into account people’s preferences, but it is hard to make everyone happy.
Bryan: When did you first come to the United States? When did you start driving?
Farhad: I came to the USA January 2016 and have driven for Lyft since Feb 2015. I should add that I have a green card and am authorized to work here.
Bryan: You mentioned you are from Afghanistan? How do you see the situation there?
Farhad: In Kabul, the situation is insecure – this is the only reason I came here. What we need is peace and law enforcement. Without peace, there is nothing else.
Bryan: How is your family in Afghanistan?
Farhad: They are in a bad situation. They are afraid of attacks, especially by the Taliban who murder innocent people like animals. They and other families deserve to be safe. Law enforcement can help bring about peace over time.
Bryan: Is there anything you would like people to understand about Afghanistan?
Farhad: I had a professional life and savings in Afghanistan. By coming here it is as if I am a new person, unknown, starting from zero. I hope that one day there will be peace in my country. People today, even Afghan children coming home from school, are afraid. Mothers and wives wait to see if their sons, husbands, and brothers will come back. The first thing they think when they hear gun fire or an explosion is that they may have lost a family member. Living in that situation is extremely hard especially when you do not know if or when it will end. When husbands and fathers are killed, it is very difficult for the rest of the family – emotionally of course but also because there is no breadwinner.
Bryan: How do you like living in Alexandria?
Farhad: I had friends in Alexandria they recommended it because it is close to DC where there are job opportunities.
Bryan: What kind of positions are you job-hunting for?
Farhad: Prior to this, my most recent position was as a Director of Operations for a USAID funded project in Afghanistan. Really I am just looking to get my foot in the door somewhere. Every day I submit my application for vacant positions. I have not yet been shortlisted for any positions but hope this will change soon. I could do very good work for the right organization.
Bryan: Can people contact you with job possibilities? If so, how should they contact you?
Farhad: I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I also have a LinkedIn profile.