Afghan English Teacher Leaves Five Kids Behind Due to Evacuation Nightmare

© REUTERS / US MARINESU.S. forces assist in Afghanistan evacuation
U.S. forces assist in Afghanistan evacuation - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.10.2021
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Former interpreter and English teacher from Afghanistan shared his heart-piercing story with Sputnik on how he had to leave five kids and wife behind at the Kabul airport because of the evacuation nightmare in August, without any guarantee to see them again.
Although the refugee is grateful to the US forces for taking him out of Afghanistan, he admits the evacuation turned out to be a disaster for the countless thousands of those who were left behind the gates of the Kabul airport.
"It was like a nightmare. It was unbelievable. I have never thought that I will face such events," said the refugee, who asked not to reveal his name due to security concerns. "The evacuation process was much worse than it was shown by the media."
The asylum-seeker recalls that the situation at the Kabul airport became uncontrolled after someone spread a rumor that the United States was considering evacuating everyone and this became a trigger for the chaotic influx of people to the area near the airport. Unfortunately, the reality was different.
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"My house was like half a kilometer from the airport and I saw thousands of people rushing to the airport – kids, boys, elder people," he said.
People were so overwhelmed with fear and despair that they went to great lengths to get the coveted seat on a plane. Afghans were attempting to pass through the airport checkpoint without any forms of identification.
"But many people didn’t have any supporting letters when they came to the airport. Some people came with electrical bills. Some people came with boxes of American cookies," he recalled.

Not An Easy Decision

The interpreter comes from Afghanistan’s east where he studied English literature to become a teacher. After graduation, he worked as a translator for his cousin's company which provided services to the US military and visited many American bases across the country to help the troops find common ground with locals. He also worked as an English lecturer at one of the regional universities.
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Leaving his loved ones behind was a tough decision but he had no other choice standing in front of the airport gate with his family next to him.
"The problem was that there was a canal [near the airport gate]. It was very difficult for them [kids and wife] to cross it. There was only one very narrow bridge. It was a wooden bridge, So, when they came to the airport, the firing started and I was not able to bring them. That's why they are there [in Afghanistan] now," the refugee said.
While he was at the airport waiting for his turn to be evacuated he witnessed a score of heart-breaking scenes that soon became widely-known around the world.
"Many people have never experienced an airplane and they thought that they would be better off hanging on an aircraft wheel than staying in Afghanistan with the Taliban," he said.
While being witnesses to all the horrors near the airport gates, right on the spot, he and his wife agreed it would be better for him to escape the country. He promised to bring the family to the United States at the first opportunity.
Every single time he speaks with his children, he does his best to keep them full of hope that they will be together soon.

Life After The Arrival in The US

The difficult journey from Afghanistan ended at the Philadelphia airport. After going through all the paperwork and custom procedures, Afghan refugees were tested for coronavirus and measles, vaccinated, and later accommodated at one of the US military bases nearby.
Unlike thousands of others, the teacher had relatives in the US who picked him up from the base. He stayed in their house for several days before moving into an Airbnb apartment that was rented with the financial backing of the local social services. The same services gave him gift cards to buy food at grocery stores.
"US social services provided us with gift cards and we used them to buy food. If we ran out of money we asked for more and they gave us. They also delivered food for us," the teacher said.

Hopes For Bright Future

There are still many obstacles on the way to reunification of the refugee with his family but he is not losing hope and tries to share it with his beloved ones.
"I take pictures of other people’s bicycles and send them to my kids telling them I bought it for them. I do this to keep hope in them, to keep them motivated," the refugee said. "I will talk to everyone to bring my family here, otherwise I will go back to Afghanistan."
Today, he says he feels safe and is full of strength and energy to start a new life in the United States, but his primary task now is to evacuate his family out of Afghanistan at any cost.
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