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El Cajon family freed from Afghanistan shares journey to get back home

Posted at 5:56 PM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 20:56:43-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)- Congressman Darrell Issa met with families and students from the Cajon Valley Union School Thursday after they recently returned home from Afghanistan.

The district and families say Issa played a crucial role in ensuring the families would be home before the Aug. 31 withdrawal date, although one family is still stranded.

“We are safe here now, but it was a really tough time that we came out from Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Faizi, a husband and father of five. Faizi said his family spent days at the Kabul airport as chaos unfolded before finally getting on a plane.

“I was a little scared, and like, we were like, all cold with two blankets,” said one of his daughters.

“We went to Uzbekistan, they took us to Uzbekistan, after they took us to Germany, after Germany New York, after New York finally we get home,” said Faizi.

Faizi said while the family is relieved to be back and grateful to the U.S. Military for making it possible, he’s devastated at what relatives left behind are going through.

He said his family went back to Afghanistan around July 19 to see their loved ones one last time.

“This will be the last chance we will be able to see our family,” he explained. Shortly after, he said the Taliban took over.

Four of Faizi’s children attend school in the Cajon Valley Union School District; his fifth child is a 2-year-old.
The district’s community liaisons got word that the family was stranded, and the district reached out to Congressman Issa’s office for help. They said the response was immediate.

A total of eight San Diego area families within the school district were stuck in Afghanistan; seven have now been freed. One remains stranded.

Issa said the work continues to bring back that family, as well as many others in danger.

“Our challenge now is to keep them safe, at least until we have word the airport is reopened and a process is beginning or some other alternative,” said Issa. “Currently, we are looking at alternatives but none favorably,” said Issa.

“I know today is a celebration of those who are here and a recognition of how many more are to come here, but we really cannot fail to realize that there’s an ongoing challenge for 37 million people.”