Afghan in UAE desperate to find safe shelter for family in Kabul

Ruhallah Mayar is one of many Afghans abroad who fear for their families' lives, as Taliban takes control of the country

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Live updates: Civilians and diplomats flee as Taliban close in on Kabul

An Afghan in the UAE is looking for shelter for his family in Kabul as the Taliban reached the outskirts of the capital city.

Ruhallah Mayar, 27, who worked as a translator for the US military from 2013 to 2017, said his parents and seven siblings feared for their lives and he did not have the money to help them leave the country.

Mr Mayar’s application for the US Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans has been approved, allowing him to live in asylum in the States.

“Afghans living abroad are worried about what will happen next in their home country, and who will make it out alive during these dark days,” said Mr Mayar, who has been working as a client relationship officer for a private company in Dubai since 2018.

“Everyone is panicking, including me, to find a way out for their families and to move them to a safe place.

“It's really hard and saddens me that financially I cannot afford to get my whole family out of Afghanistan and get the visa of any neighbouring country. The lucky ones will find a way out and the rest may suffer and somehow take care of themselves.”

Mr Mayar said he dreaded what would happen if and when the Taliban take control of Kabul, where his family lives.

He said he was having sleepless nights and feelings of hopelessness, which reminded him of the 90s when the Taliban were in control.

His 25-year-old sister's plan to study for a master’s degree could become impossible under Taliban rule, he said, as the group did not allow women to leave their homes when it was in power.

“Afghanistan’s new generation studied and worked hard to rebuild the country. We have the world's best only-girls robotics team, athletes and football players playing across the world," he said.

“With the Taliban taking over, women won't be allowed to study after turning 14. They will not be allowed to step out of their houses. There will be no democracy, no human rights, and no humanity at all.

“Recently, my sister called me and asked if I could do anything to save them from the current situation. They are not able to sleep at night and are worried about what will happen.”

Updated: August 15, 2021, 10:47 AM