August 6, 2021
(Reuters) – It was a bittersweet reunion in the United States for two Afghan brothers who fled violence and intimidation in their own country.
Saeed Abdul Wase Majidi, who was able to target him as a U.S. military interpreter in his hometown of the Taliban, landed at Sacramento Airport late Thursday after being airlifted from Kabul, and then Virginia. He had to leave his mother, brother, and two nephews behind.
Majidi was one of the 200 Afghans brought out by the United States a week ago to protect translators and others at risk of Taliban retaliation.
Majidi met another brother, Sayadawril Majidi, who arrived in Sacramento two years ago on Thursday. His brother, Sayad Khalil Majidi, said he was once an engineer for Tolo TV, Afghanistan’s largest commercial broadcaster.
He first fled to Turkey after a Taliban suicide bomber plunged a car into a bus carrying Toro employees in 2016, killing seven journalists. The Taliban said Toro is creating propaganda for the US military and the Western-backed Afghan government.
Older Majidi was staring at the stairs where passengers arrived Thursday night. When the younger brother finally arrived, they engaged in a calm hug. Majidi’s two older sons and his childhood friend Mohammad Safa, who also worked as an interpreter for the US military, soon gave a more enthusiastic greeting.
“I am very grateful, but unfortunately my brother and two nephews are in Afghanistan. That is very worrisome,” Sayad Khalil Majidi said in a telephone interview on Friday. “All these people know that my brother worked in the United States as a translator. Those who worked for the US military and other British troops were at risk to themselves and their families. I’m exposed. ”
Young Majidi also expressed concern about the left-behind family. And he was looking to his future in the Sacramento area, one of the larger Afghan expatriate communities.
“I have to actually find a job like everyone else,” Majidi said in a telephone interview on Friday. “I don’t know. It depends on how you actually find a job here.”
The evacuation of US-affiliated Afghans is coming as the United States plans to withdraw its troops by the end of this month and Afghan government forces are fighting the Taliban. The Taliban occupied Zaranj, the capital of Afghanistan in Nimruz, on Friday, and a local police spokesman said it was due to a lack of reinforcements.
When young, Saeed Abdul Wase Majidi and his friends spent time playing soccer in Kabul. As an American interpreter, he was one of a group who decided to take one of the few jobs available.
“When we graduated from school, we had nothing to do with it,” he said. “I worked as an interpreter. I have never been a politician or a member of a political party.”
Certain Afghans are granted a special immigrant visa (SIV) that qualifies them to bring their spouse or children rather than their parents or siblings. Abdul Wase Majidi said he had left it alone.
The “Operation Allies Refuge”, which is an airlift of SIV applicants, may eventually evacuate more than 50,000 people. The SIV program suffers from long processing times and bureaucratic knots, leading to a backlog of about 20,000 applications. The Department of State has added staff to handle them.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a recent statement that about 75,000 other Afghans have resettled in the United States in the last decade, “morally” the country “helping those who helped us.” “Obligation,” he added.
Parliament created the first SIV program for interpreters in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006.
(Report by Daniel Trotta in Carlsbad, CA, additional report by Brittany Hosea Small in Sacramento, edited by Donna Bryson and Alistair Bell)
After serving the United States in the war, Afghan translators begin a new life in California
Source link After serving the United States in the war, Afghan translators begin a new life in California