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Local Afghan refugee hopeful to get his family safely out of Kabul, Afghanistan

Muhammad Nasaki fled the country the last time the Taliban were in control. Now, he wants to get his family out of the capitol too.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — With eyes glued to the TV screen, Muhamad Nasaki has watched from his home in Davenport in shock and horror as his home country has quickly been overtaken by the Taliban regime. He’s a refugee from Afghanistan that came to America back in 2002. Before that, he spent 10 years as a refugee in Pakistan. Nasaki saying, “I’m stunned still. I’m shocked. What just happened?”

He says he never thought a Taliban takeover could happen so quickly. “20 years it took them; 20 years to get strong, and just overnight over a week, they take over the whole country.”

He’s from Kabul, Afghanistan, the place the world has been watching for the past week and a half. He says it’s like time has gone backwards saying, “No one wants to live under Taliban regime, period. They just can’t do it.”

Among those being forced to now live under that regime are his mom, two sisters, and a handful of nieces and nephews. He says there are many obstacles to getting his family to safety, but he’s doing everything he can to make it happen. 

His mom has a passport, but it’s expired and all of the embassies and consulates are closed. In addition to that, average citizens cannot gain access to the airport as of now. “Even if she did have a passport, she never worked for the U.S. government. So that’s the problem. Only U.S. government employees can get out of Afghanistan.”

Despite that fact, it hasn’t stopped his family from trying. Muhammad says his mom tried to get close to the airport a few days ago, but Taliban fighters are patrolling the streets with control 5 to 10 miles out from the airport. “She had the worst experience. She was beaten, she was whipped, and it doesn’t matter. They don’t want to listen to her.”

Despite the Taliban claiming this time will be different than the last time they were in power, Muhammad says no one believes it. “When I spoke with friends and family, they told me that they already knocked on the doors of people who’ve been working for the previous government. They already have been executed. In fact, no one knows where they are.”

It’s a heartbreaking sight to see for Nasaki, mostly because he says he wants people to know this isn’t Islam. “This is not the Islam I know. A woman has the right to study, to go to school. Men, women, and children, too, but they just make their own rules and regulations.”

His hopes now are to get his family to safety as quick as possible. Nasaki saying, “There’s two kinds of hopes. One for not only my family, but for the whole entire country to either escape or have the previous government back in control.”