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UC San Diego student's loved ones 'hiding in fear' in Kabul

UC San Diego student's loved ones 'hiding in fear' in Kabul
Posted at 4:20 PM, Aug 17, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - In the wake of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, a UC San Diego student says her loved ones are playing a waiting game of life and death.

Nabila, 22, emigrated to San Diego from Afghanistan several years ago. She's asked for her last name not to be used, in order to protect her family.

“As a child, born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, I can feel their fears and how they're feeling now,” said Nabila.

Nabila has seven siblings living in Kabul. Since the Taliban takeover, she has spoken to a brother and a sister.

“My sister feeling so scared. She keeps asking me, ‘Is there any way to get out of Kabul?’ so she can save her life,” said Nabila.

Nabila says that sister and two other siblings qualify for a Special Immigrant Visa for assisting Americans, including translating. They had gathered recommendation letters but had not yet applied when the Taliban made their move.

Some of her siblings are also human rights activists. All are now holed up in their homes, hiding. In one of those homes is Nabila's mother, an American citizen.

The Taliban have said they won’t be harassing people, but Nabila says what her family is hearing and seeing is another story, as soldiers patrol and knock on doors.

“They’re afraid of, if the Taliban see them, they will just kill them,” said Nabila. “They're just looking for people who have worked for media, or worked for Americans, or looking for American citizens.”

Nabila says her mother and the siblings who qualify for the visa are hoping to get on a flight to the US, but can't get to the airport.

“Checking every checkpoint to making sure can’t get to airport,” said Nabila. “Even if we try to get into the airport and we risk our lives, what if they get to airport and they don’t take us?"

Days before the Taliban takeover, Nabila had started a fundraiser to buy supplies for women and children in Kabul that fled the Taliban.

Their plight, along with others like Nabila's family members, are now filled with uncertainty.

“Totally freeze my mind. I can’t study. I can’t do anything,” said Nabila.

Nabila says she is ‘disappointed in the American plans to evacuate those who helped them and disheartened in how quickly the Afghan government fell.