North Rowan teachers' visas running out

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 17, 2011

When Amina and Faghri Taffa moved from South Africa to Salisbury in 2002 they never expected to stay longer than three years.
The couple came to the country as part of a teaching exchange program.
“We didn’t plan on getting so close to the community,” Amina said. “We immediately bonded with them.”
The community she speaks of is North Rowan.
Amina teaches math at North Middle, while Faghri has substituted exclusively at the school. Their daughter Chenoa also attended the school.
“It isn’t like a job,” Faghri said. “It’s like being with family all the time.”
After their three year contract expired they got an extension to stay another year. Then another. Then another.
But after five years, those extensions have run out and the family could be forced to leave the country when their visas expire on June 30.
Although the family said they knew this day was coming and are prepared to leave, their beloved North Rowan community is doing everything in their power to make sure they can stay.
“If every school could be as fortunate to have educators and mentors like the Taffas it would just be a phenomenal place,” parent Meredith Eller said.
And the Taffas say if they can get their visas renewed they are more than willing to stay in the town that they now call home.
Read the complete story about the community’s fight to keep the Taffa’s in Salisbury in this weekend’s Post.