SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Afghans living in San Diego say they’re concerned about the safety of their family members still in Afghanistan.
Mejgan Afshan and Freshta Moosa are two San Diego Afghan women with similar stories. Both are refugees whose families fled Afghanistan to the U.S. for safety when they were young.
“I was two years old when we came from Afghanistan and it was due to war,” Moosa said.
“As a religious minority, our family was first on the list,” Afshan said.
The fear and feeling of uncertainty are now resurfacing as thousands of Afghans scramble to flee a government overrun by the Taliban amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
- San Diego military experts discuss Afghanistan with Taliban on brink of power
- More than 600 people packed into an Air Force cargo plane as it departed Afghanistan Sunday
- Pentagon says flights have resumed out of Kabul airport following Monday's chaotic evacuation
“There’s a lot of pain and a lot of hurt," Afshan said.
Moosa said her brother is there visiting family and may be trapped.
“We haven’t been able to get a hold of him, so that’s pretty scary," she said.
On Monday, San Diego’s Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) support group called for people who know U.S. citizens and green card holders stranded in Afghanistan to fill out an evacuation form.
University of San Diego Prof. and Director of Impact:Peace Rachel Locke, who specializes in conflict and peace-building, said how the U.S. shows support for both Americans and Afghans during this time will be important moving forward.
- Taliban announces 'amnesty' and urge women to join government, but many Afghans remain skeptical
- Biden defends Afghanistan withdrawal, admits Taliban takeover happened quicker than expected
- Future of Afghan women under threat
“We need to provide not only avenues for exit, again for those who have been working for us and are under direct threat, but avenues that are viable, that are safe,” Locke said.
Afshan and Moosa said they're especially concerned for the women and girls in Afghanistan.
They urge the U.S. to expand who can receive an SIV and the number of refugees allowed in the country so anyone can find a safe haven like their families did many years ago.
“Just like every human being deserves justice, peace, and solidarity, the Afghan people in Afghanistan and in America, we want that as well," Moosa said.
In response to the situation in Afghanistan, the San Diego Afghan community will hold a Peace for Afghanistan candlelight vigil on Thursday, Aug. 19. The event will be held at Balboa Park at 6:30 p.m.