Afghan child lost in plane crash in Kabul reunites with relatives | Conflict Issues

A young boy desperately handed a soldier over to the airport wall in the American chaos the removal of Afghanistan has been found and reunited with his relatives.

The baby, Sohail Ahmadi, was just two months old when he disappeared on August 19 when thousands of people fled from Afghanistan in the fall of the Taliban.

The baby was in Kabul where 29-year-old taxi driver Hamid Safi found him at the airport and took him home to raise him as his own.

After more than seven years of negotiations and petitions, as well as temporary detention by Taliban police, Safi on Saturday returned the child to his happy grandparents and other relatives still in Kabul.

He said that he now wanted to reunite with his parents and siblings who had been deported a few months earlier to the United States.

Son Sohail Ahmadi is being carried by his grandmother as he leaves the house of Hamid Safi, a 29-year-old taxi driver who found Sohail at Kabul airport. [Ali Khara/Reuters]

During the summer evacuation of Afghan people, Mirza Ali Ahmadi, the father of a young man who worked as a security guard at the US embassy, ​​and his wife Suraya feared that their son might be publicly beaten. as they approach the gates of the airport on a flight to the US.

Ahmadi told Reuters news agency in early November that after being upset that day, he handed Sohail over the airport wall to a uniformed soldier believed to be an American, hoping to soon find the remaining five meters at the door to retrieve. he.

Immediately, the Taliban forces pushed the group back and it was half an hour later for Ahmadi, his wife and their four children to enter.

But by then the baby was gone.

Ahmadi said he had been searching for his son at the airport and had been told by authorities that he had been deported and would be reunited with him later.

The rest of the family was evacuated to a military base in Texas. For months she did not know where her baby was.

An Afghan child who went missing in a US plane crash has been reunited with his familyHamid Safi, a 29-year-old taxi driver who found his son Sohail Ahmadi at the airport, mourns the passing of Sohail to his grandfather Mohammad Qasem Razawi in Kabul. [Ali Khara/Reuters]

This case emphasizes problems for many parents separated from their children during the expulsion and withdrawal of US troops from the country after a 20-year war.

Without a US ambassador to Afghanistan and a growing number of international organizations, Afghan refugees have had to struggle to find timely, or possible, connections with such difficulty.

“We are trying to reunite the family,” said the head of the state department.

The timing is still unknown, said a US official who is aware of the situation, as regular departures are not departing from the country.

The US government is in talks with Qataris and Afghan parties on the issue, the deputy said.

I am alone at the airport

On the same day that Ahmadi and his family were separated from their son, Safi passed through the gates of Kabul airport after boarding the family of his brother who had to evacuate.

Safi said he found Sohail alone crying on the floor.

After saying that he had tried hard to find the child’s parents in the middle of the failure, he took the baby to his wife and children.

Safi has three daughters and says that her mother’s biggest wish before she died was to have a son.

“I’m going to keep the baby,” she said. If his family is found, I will give him to them. If not, I will raise her on my own, “he told Reuters in an interview in late November.

Safi told Reuters he took her to a doctor for a check-up and immediately put the baby in her family.

She named the child Mohammad Abed and posted pictures of all the children together on her Facebook page.

An Afghan child who went missing in a US plane crash has been reunited with his familyFarima Safi, the wife of Hamid Safi, a taxi driver who found baby Sohail Ahmadi at the airport, cries as he feeds Sohail at his home in Kabul. [Ali Khara/Reuters]

After a Reuters report about the missing child came out, some of Safi’s neighbors – who had seen their return from the airport a few months earlier with a child – recognized the images and wrote comments about their whereabouts on the translation.

Ahmadi asked his relatives who are still in Afghanistan, including his father-in-law Mohammad Qasem Razawi, 67, who lives in northeastern Badakhshan, to search for Safi and ask him to return Sohail to the family.

Razawi said he traveled two days and nights to the capital with gifts – including a slaughtered sheep, several pounds of nuts and clothing – to Safi and his family.

But Safi refused to release Sohail, insisting he wanted to be deported to Afghanistan with his family.

Safi’s brother, who was deported to California, said Safi and his family had no request to wait to enter the US.

The child’s family had asked for help from the Red Cross, which aims to help reunite people separated by global problems, but said they had received little from the organization.

A Red Cross spokesman said it did not comment on the allegations.

Finally, after realizing it was over, Razawi contacted Taliban police to report the abduction.

Safi told Reuters he denied the allegations and said he was taking care of the child, not stealing from him.

The complaint was investigated and dismissed and the local police chief told Reuters he had assisted in the repair, which included an agreement signed with handcuffs by both parties.

An Afghan child who went missing in a US plane crash has been reunited with his familyBaby relative Sohail Ahmadi puts fingerprints on the baby before it is handed over to his grandfather Mohammad Qasem Razawi in Kabul [Ali Khara/Reuters]

Razawi said the child’s family eventually agreed to pay Safi around 100,000 Afghani ($ 950) for damages for his care for five months.

“The child’s grandmother complained to us and we found Hamid and according to the evidence we had, we identified the child,” said Hamid Malang, a regional police commander.

“With both sides in agreement, the child will be handed over to his grandparents,” he said on Saturday.

In front of the police, and in tears, the child was returned to his family.

Razawi said Safi and his family were devastated after losing Sohail.

“Hamid and his wife were crying, and I cried, but I assured them that you are all young, may Allah give you a son. Not one, but several. I thanked them both for rescuing the baby at the airport, ”said Razawi.

“We must return the child to his mother and father. This is my sole responsibility,” he said.

The boy’s parents told Reuters they were “very happy” because they had seen with their own eyes the reunion on video chat.

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

Now Ahmadi and his wife and other children, who at the beginning of December were able to leave the military and settle down in a house in Michigan are still finding as much as they can and are looking forward to the arrival of their baby.

“I was very sad and cried all the time,” says Suraya’s mother. “I now believe that he is safe. Last night I couldn’t sleep because of the excitement. ”

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