Kind stranger helped rescue elderly woman from Kabul

Sayed Attayee helped Layloma Hafizi after she was knocked unconscious in airport chaos

An elderly woman who was flown out of Kabul after the Taliban captured the city has spoken of her gratitude to a kind stranger who helped her escape.

Layloma Hafizi, 79, was knocked unconscious in the melee as crowds surrounded the airport.

She could not contact her daughter, Fereba, a fashion photographer who was waiting in Britain for news with no idea whether Layloma had managed to board a flight out of Afghanistan.

But Fereba got a call from another evacuee, Sayed Attayee, who said he had come across Layloma and helped her to board a plane.

They flew to Dubai, which the British military used as a stopping point during the extrication of 15,000 people from Afghanistan, and then on to Britain.

After finishing 10 days of quarantine, Layloma was reunited with her daughter and revealed how Mr Attayee had looked after her.

"He’s done everything for me, everything I required," she said, speaking to Sky News through her daughter. "He was constantly there, tending to me.

"He was holding my bags, carrying my luggage, looking after me continuously. When I was feeling cold, he brought his own blanket for me to keep warm. He got me everything I needed in order to keep me healthy."

Fereba said Mr Attayee had carried her mother on his back as they approached the barriers where troops were guarding the airport.

Quote
We are human. We have to help each other
Sayed Attayee

She was later told that her mother had missed her scheduled flight and had to be given medical treatment before boarding the flight to Dubai.

Layloma, a British-Afghan dual citizen, had travelled to Afghanistan for a funeral and was caught out when the Taliban seized the city.

She landed back in the UK early on August 20. Britain ended its military airlift on Saturday, with some people left behind after the deadline.

Mr Attayee said the fact that his own mother was from Afghanistan had motivated him to help the stricken woman.

"We are human. We have to help each other," he said. "We have to respect and we have to help her. I’m happy that I helped her."

Updated: September 1st 2021, 11:48 AM
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