FEATURE – Afghan English teacher leaves five children behind due to evacuation nightmare
WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – October 30, 2021) A former interpreter and English teacher from Afghanistan shared his heartbreaking story with Sputnik about how he had to leave five children and his wife at Kabul airport due to of the evacuation nightmare in August, with no guarantee of seeing them again.
While the refugee is grateful to US forces for removing him from Afghanistan, he admits the evacuation turned out to be a disaster for the thousands who were left behind the gates of Kabul airport .
“It was like a nightmare. It was amazing. I never thought I would be faced with such events,” said the refugee, who asked not to reveal his name for security reasons. “The evacuation process was much worse than what the media showed.”
The asylum seeker recalls that the situation at Kabul airport got out of hand after someone spread a rumor that the United States was considering evacuating everyone, which became a trigger for the chaotic influx of people in the area near the airport. Unfortunately, the reality was different.
“My house was about half a kilometer from the airport and I saw thousands of people rushing to the airport – children, boys, the elderly,” he said.
People were so overcome with fear and despair that they went to great lengths to get the coveted seat on an airplane. The Afghans were trying to go through the airport checkpoint without any identification.
“But a lot of people had no letter of support when they came to the airport. Some people came with electricity bills. Some people came with boxes of American cookies,” he recalls.
The interpreter comes from eastern Afghanistan 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 numerous US bases across the country to help troops find land. agreement with the inhabitants. He also worked as an English teacher at one of the regional universities.
Leaving his loved ones behind was a difficult decision, but he had no other choice to stand outside the airport gate with his family beside him.
“The problem was that there was a canal (near the airport gate). It was very difficult for them (children and wife) to cross it. There was only one very narrow bridge .
It was a wooden bridge. So when they got to the airport, the shooting started and I couldn’t get them. That’s why they’re here (in Afghanistan) now, “the refugee said.
While at the airport waiting for his tower to be evacuated, he witnessed some 20 heartbreaking scenes that quickly became widely known around the world.
“A lot of people have never had the experience of a plane and they thought they would be better off hanging on to an airplane wheel than staying in Afghanistan with the Taliban,” he said. .
While witnessing all the horrors near the airport gates, on the spot, he and his wife agreed that it would be best for him to flee the country. He promised to bring the family to the United States at the earliest opportunity.
Whenever he talks with his children, he does his best to keep them hopeful that they will be together soon.
LIFE AFTER ARRIVAL IN THE UNITED STATES
The difficult journey from Afghanistan ended at the Philadelphia airport. After going through all the paperwork and customs procedures, the Afghan refugees were tested for coronavirus and measles, vaccinated, and then accommodated at one of the nearby US military bases.
Unlike thousands of others, the teacher had relatives in the United States who picked him up at the base. He stayed in their house for several days before moving into an Airbnb apartment rented with financial support from local social services. The same services gave him gift cards to buy food in grocery stores.
“US Social Services provided us with gift cards and we used them to buy food. If we ran out of money, we would ask for more and they would give us more. They also delivered food for us, ”said the teacher.
There are still many obstacles on the way to the reunification of the refugee with his family but he does not give up hope and tries to share it with his relatives.
“I take pictures of other people’s bikes and send them to my children telling them I bought them for them. I do this to keep them hopeful, 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 full of strength and energy to start a new life in the United States, but his main task now is to evacuate his family from Afghanistan at all costs.