A San Antonio man’s wife and five children are struggling to find a flight out of Afghanistan after the Taliban swiftly took control of the country amid the U.S. military withdrawal.
Mohammad, 44, said his family flew to the country to visit relatives in June and had a flight booked to return in September. Now, they are unsure when or how they will leave the country. In 2013, he was able to immigrate to the U.S. through a Special Immigrant Visa after working as a translator for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. He fears that his past services to the Army put his family at risk. The Express-News agreed not to publish his first name to protect their anonymity.
Thousands of Afghans raced to the airport in Kabul after the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital earlier this week. The dramatic scene was caught in photographs and film. According to the Associated Press, at least seven individuals have died as a result of the chaos, including one who clung to a departing plane and dropped.
Mohammad’s wife and children were taking refuge in a relative’s farm home in an area bordering Pakistan on Wednesday afternoon, with no safe way out. He claims they haven’t left the house in days. The United States Embassy in Kabul published a statement on Wednesday notifying American citizens in Afghanistan that evacuation flights are available on a first-come, first-served basis. It further stated that it is unable to guarantee safe transportation to the airport.
Mohammad claims that the travel to his family’s home from the airport takes more than four hours and is perilous now that the Taliban has taken control. He is concerned about the possibility of violence, particularly since four of his children are under the age of eighteen.
As he wiped away his emotions, Mohammad admitted that it was difficult to put into words how he felt at the time. He claimed that his family informed him that food prices have risen dramatically. He went on to say that while they still have food, there’s no assurance they’ll be able to afford it in the future.
He had spent most of his life in Afghanistan before moving to the United States, and he described the Taliban’s leadership from 1996 to 2001 as a challenging period for the country. Mohammad had planned to fly to Afghanistan at the end of the month and return with his family on September 8. Those plans have been scrapped, and all he can do now is wait and pray.