Afghanistan: baby lost amid chaos at Kabul airport reunites with family months later


Hamid Safi, the 29-year-old taxi driver who met Sohail Ahmadi at the airport, cries as he hands the baby over to his grandfather.

Hamid Safi, the 29-year-old taxi driver who met Sohail Ahmadi at the airport, cries as he hands the baby over to his grandfather.

Photo: REUTERS / copyright

When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August, many Afghans were desperately trying to flee.

Among them, the family of little Sohail Ahmadi, who was barely two months old at the time.

The baby was handed over to a US soldier over a fence to protect him from the crowd, as thousands of people jostled each other to get to the Kabul airport.

But when his family was able to access the airport, no longer found Sohail nowhere.

After a frantic but futile search for the baby, his father, Mirza Ali Ahmadi, who had worked as a security guard at the U.S. embassy, ​​his mother, Suraya, and their four other children were put on an evacuation flight to the United States. United.

For months, they had no idea where it was your little boy.

Sohail as a newborn.
Reuters
Sohail was lost on August 19, and for months her parents didn’t know where she was.

But after Reuters published a report on the family’s search for Sohail in November, the baby was found in the home of a 29-year-old taxi driver named Hamid Safi.

Safi said she had found Sohail alone and crying on the airport floor, according to Reuters.

After trying to find the boy’s family, he decided to take him home to his wife and children and raise him as his own child.

They named the baby Mohammad Abed and posted photos of all the children together on Safi’s Facebook page.

When Sohail’s whereabouts were confirmed, the baby’s grandfather, Mohammad Qasem Razawi, who lives in the northeastern province of Badakhshan, made a long trip to Kabul to ask for the child to be returned to him.

However, Safi refused to hand over the baby and demanded that he and his family also be evacuated to the United States, according to Reuters.

Mohammad Qasem Razawi, Sohail Ahmadi's grandfather, holds his grandson.
Reuters
Mohammad Qasem Razawi, Sohail Ahmadi’s grandfather, holds his grandson.

After seven weeks of negotiations, and Safi’s brief arrest, the Taliban police reached an agreement between the two families and the baby was returned to his grandfather on Saturday, Reuters reported.

His parents said they were happy after seeing their baby with his grandfather via video call.

“There are celebrations, dances, songs,” Razawi said. “It’s like a wedding.”

They hope that the necessary paperwork will soon be completed for Sohail to be transferred to the US state of Michigan, where the Ahmadi family has now settled.


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