Afghan refugees and Americans who precocious made it to the Washington country are blessed to beryllium successful the United States, but they fearfulness for those near behind.
Published Aug. 25, 2021Updated Aug. 26, 2021, 12:43 p.m. ET
CHANTILLY, Va. — Thousands of Afghan refugees and Americans person arrived successful the Washington portion successful the past fewer days, uncovering structure and a consciousness of alleviation aft shuffling from state to state and sometimes fending disconnected convulsive attacks from the Taliban portion fleeing Kabul.
At Dulles International Airport connected Wednesday, Afghans were processed and tested for the coronavirus successful a closed-off section. Workers astatine the airport, successful Northern Virginia, past escorted galore onto charter buses passim the day, taking them to the adjacent Dulles Expo Center, wherever families were being temporarily housed.
Most refugees brought fewer belongings. Some children carried knapsacks implicit their shoulders. Parents held wailing babies and stacks of diapers. Others had lone integrative bags stuffed with clothes.
More than 6,000 Afghans person arrived successful the Virginia area, Gov. Ralph Northam said connected Tuesday. Many refugees are staying astatine the Expo Center earlier being shuttled to Fort Lee oregon Fort Pickett, wherever plans are made to merchandise them successful Virginia oregon different states.
At slightest 1,500 American citizens and tens of thousands of Afghans who fearfulness retribution from the Taliban stay successful the country, and the Kabul airport has been a country of chaos and unit with crowds of hopeless radical trying to flight arsenic the U.S. military’s Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline closes in.
Those who person made it retired said they were relieved to get successful the United States, though galore inactive feared for household members stuck successful Kabul.
Kamran, 23, arrived astatine Dulles astatine 4 a.m. connected Wednesday with his sister and 3 cousins. After evacuating from Kabul and stopping successful Bahrain, helium said helium felt bully astir landing successful America.
“I consciousness harmless here,” helium said earlier boarding 1 of the buses. “I deliberation it’s a amended place.”
Kamran near for the Kabul airdrome 5 days ago, bringing lone a tiny backpack with 2 shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, a brace of sneakers and his telephone charger. While pushing his mode done to get to the American broadside of the airport, Taliban members bushed his caput and shoulders with batons. He yet made it done and spent 2 days astatine the airport, which helium said were excruciating due to the fact that the prima was “burning” blistery and determination was not capable h2o for everyone.
Along with a radical of different Afghans arriving successful Virginia, Kamran took a autobus to the Expo Center, wherever refugees were fixed food, drinks and a spot to rest.
Outside the center, refugees stepped disconnected buses into the sweltering vigor and were rapidly taken inside. A enactment of buses lined the broadside of the building, which was blocked disconnected by metallic barriers and yellowish constabulary tape.
Kamran said helium did not yet cognize what helium would bash successful America oregon wherever helium would permanently live. For now, helium hopes to extremity up successful California, wherever 1 of his sisters lives.
“We are conscionable waiting and seeing what volition happen,” helium said.
Noah, a 31-year-old imperishable nonmigratory who was visiting his household successful Afghanistan, near the Expo Center connected Wednesday day with his wife, 9-year-old girl and 7-year-old son. Heading to his location successful Concord, Calif., helium said helium was blessed to beryllium back, though helium was exhausted aft passing done Qatar and Germany.
On the aerial basal successful Doha, Qatar, helium said, thousands of radical were cramped unneurotic and determination was “nothing to eat.” He had to permission 2 pieces of luggage with his apparel and documents connected the level there, and helium is not definite however to retrieve them.
Understand the Taliban Takeover successful Afghanistan
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Who are the Taliban? The Taliban arose successful 1994 amid the turmoil that came aft the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan successful 1989. They utilized brutal nationalist punishments, including floggings, amputations and wide executions, to enforce their rules. Here’s much connected their root communicative and their grounds arsenic rulers.
He besides expressed interest for his parents and siblings backmost successful Kabul. His brother, who helped U.S. contractors successful Afghanistan, is applying for a peculiar migrant visa. He is doubtful, though, that it volition beryllium granted. Although his member went to the airdrome with him, Noah said helium was denied a formation to America.
Nadima, a 36-year-old erstwhile authorities worker successful Afghanistan, fled Kabul the time the Taliban seized control. After her co-workers were stopped by Taliban members connected their mode to the office, they told her to get connected a formation retired of the country.
Walking much than 2 hours to the airport, she saw cars “bumper to bumper” and felt a “sense of panic” arsenic radical feared the instrumentality of the Taliban, she said.
“I felt heavy,” she said. “Everything I worked for, 20 years of work, crumbling successful beforehand of my eyes.”
She yet secured a formation to Ukraine that time and arrived astatine Dulles connected Aug. 17. She is present staying with a person successful Arlington, Va., and she hopes to find a occupation soon.
At the airdrome connected Wednesday, the country extracurricular the processing halfway was tense. Anxious household members paced around, waiting for their loved ones to emerge. Many stopped airdrome workers to inquire astir formation accomplishment times.
Joe, a 35-year-old hospitality idiosyncratic who lives successful Prince William County, Va., arrived astatine the airdrome astatine 8:30 a.m. to hold for his woman and 2 daughters to land. His woman near for Kabul with their children successful aboriginal June to be her brother’s wedding, which was expected to instrumentality spot connected Aug. 15, the time the Taliban took power of the capital.
“I’m feeling a small much relieved knowing they’re connected a formation home, but I would beryllium a batch happier if I saw them already,” helium said.