“I’m glad that at least one of us, Janagha, has succeeded,” Shafiqullah, 31, told NBC News in a phone call last month from Kabul, where he says he has always lived in fear about Afghanistan’s hardline rulers. His brother, meanwhile, is building a new life in the UK.
“On the other hand,” he added. “I had a deep feeling of sadness, I was so unlucky.”
Janagha, 38, said he got up at 6 a.m. on the morning of August 15 at Camp Taipan, a base at Hamid Karzai International Airport, where he works as a mechanic. Across town, about 6 miles from the airport, his brother was at home and got up for morning prayer.
Within hours, the Taliban had flooded in Of Afghanistan capital was unchallenged, prompting then-President Ashraf Ghani of the country to flee to United Arab Emirates and spurred a chaotic scramble by the United States and other Western nations to evacuate their forces, diplomatic staff, and eligible Afghans from the country.
Shafiqullah said he had also worked at Camp Taipan but was on leave and could not come to the base to evacuate. The security company whose subcontractor he is working with disputes this and says he is no longer employed.
“We worked on the same project, at the same location, but I didn’t benefit,” he said.
Their story will resonate with many people.
Janagha is among tens of thousands of Afghans evacuate in addition to citizens of the United States and allied countries.
Ten days after the Taliban took over, he landed at Birmingham Airport in the British Midlands, with his wife, Hamkima, and their four children, Ahmad Sahil, 14, Marwa, 11, Ahmad Sohail, 9, and Salah, 2.
After many months of living in a hotel, at the beginning of December The family moved to their own home in Norwich, a small medieval city about 120 miles north of London.
Receiving news that they would be evacuated left Janagha with mixed emotions, he said in a recent phone call from his new home.
“It’s a paradox,” he said, adding that he was “deeply concerned about my country falling to the Taliban,” but happy that “we will finally be rescued.”
Since April 1, Britain has resettled more than 8,000 Afghans who used to work for or with the UK, or members of their families, according to a UK government spokesman.
Through a separate planAiming to help vulnerable people, as well as those who support values such as democracy and women’s rights, the UK says it is committed to welcoming around 5,000 people this year and up to 20,000. in the coming years.
“We conducted the UK’s largest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history, bringing more than 15,000 people to Afghanistan safely. Our spokesperson will continue to do all we can to facilitate relocation of those who qualify..
Janagha said his family is settling into a good life and he is attending the local mosque, where he says the people are very friendly. His children have just enrolled in local schools, he added.
Challenges include the scarcity of Persian speakers and the brooding skies of England, which have left him yearning to see clear views of Kabul, he said. Above all, he said, he misses his family and hopes one day they will be able to come with him to England.
The middle brother of a family of seven, Janagha and Shafiqullah grew up in Kabul, where their father worked as a driver, while their mother raised them at home.
Shafiqullah says she has filled their home with a taste of traditional Afghan cooking.
Both brothers describe their childhoods as humble but happy, filled with memories of skipping school, playing soccer and swimming in the Kabul River.
“At that time it wasn’t too dirty, we had very green, blue water, very pure water,” says Janagha.
After growing up, their sisters got married and the three sons in the family, like so many who grew up after the US-led invasion in 2001, found work in an industry. Huge industrial base facilitates the presence of foreign troops in the country. By the time that presence collapsed last year, both were working for foreign militaries, Janagha as a mechanic and Shafiqullah in the kitchen.
Then, this summer, their paths diverged dramatically.
Shafiqullah said that during the evacuation in August, he resigned worked for Houston-based defense contractor KBR after contracting Covid-19. He said that when he tested positive, Janagha and the others were told to go home because there were no treatment facilities at the camp. In the weeks that followed, he said, he waited for them to call him back into service.
“After a while, they called Janagha back but not me,” he said.
When evacuation begins, he said he was asked by his manager to have patience but since then he has not heard from the company or the UK government.
A KBR spokesman said Shafiquullah worked for his subcontractor, UK company, Global Staffing Solutions, from July 2018 to May 2021.
Both Shafiqullah and Janagha contracted Covid in May along with several other Afghan workers, the spokesman said, adding that they had made the decision to leave the camp and in doing so, their jobs had terminated. The company has been closely following the UK Department of Defense Covid-19 protocols and procedures, the spokesperson said.
In July, Janagha was reinstated and transferred to the UK for his work on behalf of the KBR, the spokesperson said. The spokesman said Global Staffing Solutions had sent an employment verification letter, also signed by KBR, to Shafiqullah, so that he and his family could apply to move to the UK or US.
Shafiqullah said the KBR did not tell him his job was terminated.
But a KBR spokesman said questions about the communication Shafiqullah had with his employer should be directed to Global Human Resources Solutions. Global Staffing Solutions could not be reached for comment.
A spokesman for the UK Ministry of Defense said contractors are not normally eligible to relocate under the ARAP scheme but in some cases applicants may have a secondary role that is eligible for relocation. The department could not comment on individual cases, the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, the lives of the two brothers remained separate.
In Norwich, Janagha’s older children are attending school, while their cousins Mohammed and Bilal are missing out on an education in Kabul as the family continues to move to hide from their possible wrath. Taliban.
Shafiqullah is just one of hundreds of thousands of refugee advocacy groups and humanitarian organizations estimated to have worked for foreign militaries, diplomats, charities or other projects jointly funded by the United States or the United States. sponsors, who remain in Afghanistan and face repression.
The State Department declined to comment when asked how many Afghans staying in Afghanistan have applied special immigrant visa or other visas to resettle in the United States Since the end of July, the United States has welcomed approximately 76,000 Afghan nationals through Welcome active alliesaccording to the Department of Homeland Security.
Like so many of his other Afghans, Shafiqullah said he was Struggling to put food on the table and a roof over the heads of his children.
Unemployed and paying rent, he said he sold his property including carpets and televisions. More than half of the country is in urgent need of more foodunder the World Food Program.
“We just survived,” he said. “We have nothing else to sell.”
He begged the British government to handle his family’s paperwork and take them to a place where his children could go to school and where they could live in peace.
“I believe in fate, but I feel that human effort also works,” he said. “If the British government considers my case, God willing, I will be in Norwich with Janagha.”
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/afghanistan-taliban-takeover-brothers-lives-changed-dramatically-rcna13612 He lives in fear under Taliban rule in Afghanistan. His brother made it