Afghan babies reunited with relatives in the chaos of Kabul airlift

In the American chaos, a baby boy was desperately handed over to a soldier across the airport wall Afghanistan withdrawal Has been found and reunited with his relatives.


The baby Sohail Ahmadi was only two months old when he disappeared on August 19, because Afghanistan fell into the hands of the Taliban and thousands of people left Afghanistan in a hurry.

The baby was located in Kabul. A 29-year-old taxi driver named Hamid Safi found him at the airport and took him home to raise him.


After more than seven weeks of negotiations and pleading, and finally being briefly detained by the Taliban police, Safi finally returned the child to his cheering grandfather and other relatives who are still in Kabul on Saturday.

They said they will now try to reunite him with his parents and siblings who evacuated to the United States a few months ago.


The baby Sohail Ahmadi was held by his grandmother.Hamid Safi, a 29-year-old taxi driver, found Sohar at Kabul Airport [Ali Khara/Reuters]

During the turbulent summer evacuation from Afghanistan, the boy’s father, Mirza Ali Ahmadi (Mirza Ali Ahmadi) and his wife worked as security guards at the US Embassy on flights to the United States.

Ahmadi told Reuters in early November that in despair that day, he passed Sohail over the airport wall to a uniformed soldier who he believed to be an American. He fully expected him to reach the entrance soon. Regained him five meters below.

At this moment, the Taliban forces pushed the crowd back, and it took another half an hour for Ahmad, his wife and four other children to enter.


But at that time the baby was nowhere to be found.

Ahmadi said he was desperately searching for his son in the airport, and officials told him that he may have been taken out of the country alone and could be reunited with them later.

The rest of the family were evacuated and ended up at a military base in Texas. For months, they did not know where their son was.


Afghan baby missing in the chaos of U.S. airlift reunited with familyHamid Safi, the 29-year-old taxi driver who found the baby Sohail Ahmadi at the airport, cried when he handed Sohail to his grandfather Mohammad Qasem Razawi in Kabul [Ali Khara/Reuters]

The case highlights The plight of many parents After 20 years of war, they were separated from their children during a hurried evacuation and the withdrawal of American troops from the country.

Because there is no US embassy in Afghanistan and international organizations are overcrowded, it is difficult for Afghan refugees to get answers to such a complex and unified time or possibility.

“We are working hard to reunite the family,” the State Department official said.

However, another US official with knowledge of the situation said that the time is still unknown because there are currently no regular evacuation flights leaving the country.

The second official said that the US government is discussing the case with Qatari and Afghan parties.

Alone at the airport

On the same day that Ahmadi and his family were separated from their children, Safi slid past the gate of Kabul Airport after hitchhiking to his brother’s family who was also preparing to evacuate.

Safi said that he found Sohail crying on the ground alone.

After he said he tried to find the baby’s parents in it unsuccessful, he took the baby home to his wife and children.

Safi has three daughters of his own, and he said that his mother’s biggest wish before his death was to let him have a son.

At that moment, he decided: “I want to keep this child. If I find his family, I will give him to them. If not, I will raise him by myself,” he told Reuters in an interview at the end of November .

Safi told Reuters that after he was found, he took him to the doctor and quickly integrated the child into his family.

They called the baby Mohammad Abed and posted photos of all the children on his Facebook page.

Afghan baby missing in the chaos of U.S. airlift reunited with familyFarima Safi is the wife of the taxi driver Hamid Safi. She found the baby Sohail Ahmadi at the airport. She cried while feeding Sohail at her home in Kabul [Ali Khara/Reuters]

After the Reuters report on the missing child came out, some of Safi’s neighbors who noticed that he was returning from the airport with the baby a few months ago recognized the photos and published a translated version of the article about him. Whereabouts of comments.

Ahmadi asked his relatives still in Afghanistan, including his 67-year-old father-in-law Mohammad Qasem Razawi, who lives in the northeastern province of Badakhshan, to find Safi and asked him to Sokhail returned to his family.

Razawi said that he brought gifts to Safi and his family-including a slaughtered sheep, a few pounds of walnuts and clothes-to the capital for two days and two nights.

But Safi refused to release Sohail, insisting that he also wanted to evacuate from Afghanistan with his family.

The brother of Safi, who was evacuated to California, said that Safi and his family have no pending US entry applications.

The baby’s family sought help from the Red Cross, whose mission is to help people separated by the international crisis reconnect, but said they had little information from the organization.

A spokesperson for the Red Cross said it does not comment on individual cases.

Finally, after feeling that he had no choice, Razawi contacted the local Taliban police and reported a kidnapping incident.

Safi told Reuters that he denied the allegations to the police and stated that he was caring for the baby, not kidnapping him.

The complaint was investigated and rejected, and the local police commander told Reuters that he helped arrange the settlement, which included an agreement signed by both parties.

Afghan baby missing in the chaos of U.S. airlift reunited with familyThe relatives of the baby Sohail Ahmadi left fingerprints on the agreement before handing the baby to his grandfather in Kabul, Mohammad Qasem Razawi [Ali Khara/Reuters]

Razawi said that the baby’s family finally agreed to pay Safi about 100,000 afghanis (US$950) to cover the cost of taking care of him for five months.

“The baby’s grandfather complained to us and we found Hamid. Based on the evidence we have, we recognized the baby,” said Hamid Malang, the chief area controller of the local police station.

“If both parties agree, the baby will be handed over to his grandfather,” he said on Saturday.

In front of the police, tears broke down, and the child was finally sent back to his relatives.

Razawi said that Safi and his family were shocked by the loss of Sohail.

“Hamid and his wife were crying, and I was crying, but I assure them that you are all young and Allah will give you boys. Not one, but several. I thank them both for saving the children from the airport,” Razawi said.

“We need to get the child back to his parents. This is my only responsibility,” he said.

The baby’s parents told Reuters they were very happy because they were able to see the reunion in the video chat with their own eyes.

“There are celebrations, dancing, singing,” Razawi said. “It’s really like a wedding.”

Now that Ahmadi, his wife and other children were able to move out of the military base and relocated to an apartment in Michigan in early December, they are still looking for a foothold and focus on the return of their son.

“I am very sad and always cry for my children,” said his mother Suraya. “Now I want him to get here safely. Last night, I was so happy that I didn’t fall asleep.”

.