Mom and dad wanted to get their little Sohail to safety, get him out of Afghanistan, and they delivered to “a man in uniform” who they believed was “an American soldier”. In the crowd of Kabul airport, however, the child, barely two months old, he was lost. After five months, however, the happy ending: Sohail is back in the arms of his family, which in the meantime has always continued to look for him.
Meanwhile, a lot of things have happened. That August 19, while the Taliban seized power and, who could do it, tried to escape away from despair, trying to get on the first accessible flight, the small Sohail was found on the ground, alone and in tears, by taxi driver Hamid Safi, who took him to his home to his three girls and welcomed him as a fourth child. He says he looked for his parents, but also thanked heaven for the unexpected arrival of this boy, which in Taliban Afghanistan means having two more arms to work and to survive.
But Sohail’s parents, Mirza Ali, 35, and Suraya, 32, never stopped looking for their baby. Dad, who had worked as a security guard at the US Embassy for ten years, was given the opportunity to bring the rest of his family are safe in the United States: his wife and four other children aged 17, nine, six and three. From the new home in Michigan, the family posted Sohail’s photo on a website which deals with the many children missing in the days of the Taliban taking power. And, in November, thanks to Safi’s neighbors, who recognized Sohail’s face in that of the taxi driver’s new son, the little one was tracked down.
But when the baby’s grandfather, Mohammad Qasem Razawi, arrived from Badakhshan, in the far north-east of Afghanistan, to take back his grandson, it was not enough to offer Safi a slaughtered ram, a few kilos of walnuts and a bag of clothes. The taxi driver wanted to deliver the child back to his family in America himself. also bringing his wife and children to safety. Sohail’s family reported the kidnapping and, with the mediation of the Taliban, the taxi driver was handed over 950 dollars to reward him for taking care of the baby and then returning it to his relatives.
Sohail is now with his grandfather, ready to fly to his family and build his future.
Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you:
Afghanistan, MSF: “Here children are dying of hunger”
Afghanistan, the photos of Vanity Fair for the Italian Red Cross
Kabul, the journalist who interviewed the Taliban fled Afghanistan
Taliban: “We will respect women, but according to the sharia law”. But what does this mean?
Kabul, women are afraid: “I would never have worn a burqa, now I’m forced”
Kabul in the hands of the Taliban. “We women will lose all rights.” What is happening
I am Derek Black, an author of World Stock Market. I have a degree in creative writing and journalism from the University of Central Florida. I have a passion for writing and informing the public. I strive to be accurate and fair in my reporting, and to provide a voice for those who may not otherwise be heard.