Afghan refugee honored after mother, brother assassinated on Christmas Eve

A refugee from Afghanistan was honored by a Silicon Valley lawmaker on Wednesday after his mother and brother were assassinated on Christmas Eve 2020.

State Sen. Dave Cortese handed Mohammed "Mustafa" Kohistani a certificate of recognition for his bravery, saying that the young man "truly illustrates what courage in the face of adversity looks like and is emblematic of the courage many young people across the world possess." 

Kohistani is the son of Freshta Kohistani, an outspoken voice on women's rights and democracy activist in Afghanistan. 

In fact, she was the recipient of the Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award from the U.S. State Department in 2021.

She and Kohistani's little brother were killed in the Kapisa province, prompting him to seek refuge in the United States at age 12.

In accepting the award, Kohistani said he wanted to honor his mother. 

"My dream is to feel for my mom," he said. "Thank you so much for this opportunity to save us." 

The U.S. federal government evacuated over 130,000 people from Afghanistan, many of whom resettled here in America and here in California. 

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