BOSTON (CBS) – He goes by the name Sabib, a former Afghani interpreter for U.S. forces who now fears his American affiliation makes his family even more vulnerable to the Taliban.
“Every time I think about them, I think what’s going to happen to them. They are searching every house to try to find people who worked for the U.S. government and target them,” said Sabib.
His mother, brother and other relatives are in lockdown, with just enough food for now and no hope of leaving. “Even they don’t know what’s going on outside. It’s a bad and fearful situation, and everything looks bad to them.”
It’s the same fear that grips Arya Azeemi, who fled Taliban rule 20 years ago but has a niece, who is a dentist, and her family now living in Kabul. A volunteer with the Afghan Women Cultural Center of New England, she shared video of food and medicine that was purchased with money sent several days ago, but she worries food will become scarce. “Sometimes families are prepared with food, and for some, just the men go out and try to buy the food.”
Communication is difficult because women, in particular, are shutting down all social media so they’re not tracked.
“We were very shocked; it was a panic for all Afghans,” said Azeemi.
Right now, attorneys in the Boston area are working to help people in Afghanistan just get on a plane for transport out of the country, which is difficult and chaotic.
“The system is set up to allow people to go to refugee camps, then apply from overseas from refugee camps. For these families, it means abandoning their homes and everything they own,” said immigration attorney Susan Church.
Sabib said he has no regrets he worked as an interpreter. “We worked for hope,” he said but now worries it’s a hopeless situation.