From Stateless to Safe Haven: Baby Omar and Family Find Hope in the US

Baby Omar finds hope in Rochester thanks to donated miles

Baby Omar finds hope in Rochester thanks to donated miles

Thanks to your donation:

Origin Country: Afghanistan
Destination Country: United States
Airline/Award Program: Air Canada/Aeroplan – United MileagePlus
Passengers: 3
Points redeemed: 82,500 Aeroplan points + 30,000 United MileagePlus miles
Amount paid in taxes and fees: $394.39
Alleviated airfare for the family: $5,309

Frohar, an Afghan refugee who bravely served alongside the U.S. for two years, found herself in a desperate situation after the August 2021 evacuation. Despite their best efforts, she and her husband couldn’t secure passage out of Afghanistan. Forced to flee, they landed on the island of Cyprus, clinging to the hope of a new life.

Their wait for a visa was agonizing. Amidst the uncertainty, Frohar gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Omar. But their joy was overshadowed by his stateless status. Cyprus wouldn’t grant him a passport, trapping the young family on the island.

Frohar and her husband were granted visas, but Omar’s visa was contingent on an impossible travel arrangement: he needed to secure passage through another country without an Afghan passport. They arrived at the airport with tickets, only to be turned away by the airlines. Baby Omar couldn’t board the plane without a passport, despite having proper documentation for an exception – a single journey travel document issued by the United States Embassy. No country was willing to make an exception, and they faced the constant threat of deportation.

It was a long wait filled with sleepless nights, canceled flights, and countless pleas to the U.S. Embassy. But hope flickered, also thanks to Mary Novak-Caskey, Miles4Migrants’ flight team manager. Despite all the obstacles, Mary didn’t give up, rebooking Frohar’s flight five times, navigating complex travel restrictions, and searching for a practical solution.

Finally, with all legal and resettlement assistance provided by our NGO partner, Keeping Our Promise, with Miles4Migrant’s support, and a little bit of luck, Frohar, her husband, and little Omar touched down in Rochester, New York, on a Friday night.

Frohar’s story is a testament to the commitment America made to its Afghan allies. It’s also a powerful reminder that compassion and unwavering support can make all the difference. With your help, through donations of miles to Miles4Migrants, we can continue to reunite families and offer safe haven to those who bravely stood with us.

How Miles4Migrants helps

We collaborate with a network of global non-governmental organization (NGO) partners who work directly with refugees and migrants to identify and verify individuals who are financially unable to afford air travel. Once our partners submit flight requests, we use donated frequent flyer miles, credit card points, travel vouchers, and cash to eliminate transportation barriers for the most vulnerable individuals affected by war, persecution, or climate disaster. Our goal is to help these individuals reunite with their loved ones and start a new life in a safe environment.

Learn more about us in our FAQ

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– According to the United Nations, there are currently 108 million individuals forcibly displaced from their homes worldwide.  

– The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that seeking asylum is a fundamental human right. Everyone has the right to life and liberty. Everyone has the right to freedom from fear. Everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution.

As migration is often the last option for survival, migrants may embark on clandestine journeys, subject to danger, extortion, and inhumane conditions

Once they finally get legal approval for resettlement, migrants face another challenge that makes the journey seem impossible: the transportation costs.

There are many ways for you to get involved and help us continue our work:

You can donate cash to help us cover operational expenses or contribute your unused air miles, credit card points, or travel vouchers to help us book flights for refugees and asylum seekers. Additionally, you can help us spread the word about our cause and our impact on the lives of those we serve.

Every donation, no matter how big or small, has the power to make a difference. Thank you for considering supporting our mission.

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