CHANTILLY, Va. — Thousands of Afghan refugees and Americans have arrived within the Washington area up to now few days, discovering shelter and a way of aid after shuffling from nation to nation and typically keeping off violent assaults from the Taliban whereas fleeing Kabul.
At Dulles International Airport on Wednesday, Afghans have been processed and examined for the coronavirus in a closed-off part. Workers on the airport, in Northern Virginia, then escorted many onto constitution buses all through the day, taking them to the close by Dulles Expo Center, the place households have been being briefly housed.
Most refugees introduced few belongings. Some youngsters carried knapsacks over their shoulders. Parents held wailing infants and stacks of diapers. Others had solely plastic luggage full of garments.
More than 6,000 Afghans have arrived within the Virginia space, Gov. Ralph Northam stated on Tuesday. Many refugees are staying on the Expo Center earlier than being shuttled to Fort Lee or Fort Pickett, the place plans are made to launch them in Virginia or different states.
At least 1,500 American residents and tens of 1000’s of Afghans who concern retribution from the Taliban stay within the nation, and the Kabul airport has been a scene of chaos and violence with crowds of determined individuals making an attempt to flee because the U.S. navy’s Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline closes in.
Those who’ve made it out stated they have been relieved to reach within the United States, though many nonetheless feared for relations caught in Kabul.
Kamran, 23, arrived at Dulles at four a.m. on Wednesday together with his sister and three cousins. After evacuating from Kabul and stopping in Bahrain, he stated he felt good about touchdown in America.
“I feel safe here,” he stated earlier than boarding one of many buses. “I think it’s a better place.”
Kamran left for the Kabul airport 5 days in the past, bringing solely a small backpack with two shirts, two pairs of denims, a pair of sneakers and his cellphone charger. While pushing his method via to get to the American facet of the airport, Taliban members beat his head and shoulders with batons. He ultimately made it via and spent two days on the airport, which he stated have been excruciating as a result of the solar was “burning” scorching and there was not sufficient water for everybody.
Along with a gaggle of different Afghans arriving in Virginia, Kamran took a bus to the Expo Center, the place refugees got meals, drinks and a spot to relaxation.
Outside the middle, refugees stepped off buses into the sweltering warmth and have been rapidly taken inside. A row of buses lined the facet of the constructing, which was blocked off by steel obstacles and yellow police tape.
Airport employees escorted most of the refugees onto constitution buses all through the day, taking them to the close by Dulles Expo Center, the place households have been being briefly housed.Credit…Kenny Holston for The New York Times
Kamran stated he didn’t but know what he would do in America or the place he would completely reside. For now, he hopes to finish up in California, the place one among his sisters lives.
“We are just waiting and seeing what will happen,” he stated.
Noah, a 31-year-old everlasting resident who was visiting his household in Afghanistan, left the Expo Center on Wednesday afternoon together with his spouse, 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son. Heading to his dwelling in Concord, Calif., he stated he was blissful to be again, though he was exhausted after passing via Qatar and Germany.
Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan ›
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On the air base in Doha, Qatar, he stated, 1000’s of individuals have been cramped collectively and there was “nothing to eat.” He needed to go away two items of baggage together with his garments and paperwork on the aircraft there, and he’s not positive easy methods to retrieve them.
Understand the Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan
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Who are the Taliban? The Taliban arose in 1994 amid the turmoil that got here after the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989. They used brutal public punishments, together with floggings, amputations and mass executions, to implement their guidelines. Here’s extra on their origin story and their document as rulers.
Who are the Taliban leaders? These are the highest leaders of the Taliban, males who’ve spent years on the run, in hiding, in jail and dodging American drones. Little is understood about them or how they plan to control, together with whether or not they are going to be as tolerant as they declare to be.
How did the Taliban acquire management? See how the Taliban retook energy in Afghanistan in a couple of months, and examine how their technique enabled them to take action.
What occurs to the ladies of Afghanistan? The final time the Taliban have been in energy, they barred girls and ladies from taking most jobs or going to high school. Afghan girls have made many good points because the Taliban have been toppled, however now they concern that floor could also be misplaced. Taliban officers are attempting to reassure girls that issues can be totally different, however there are indicators that, a minimum of in some areas, they’ve begun to reimpose the outdated order.
What does their victory imply for terrorist teams? The United States invaded Afghanistan 20 years in the past in response to terrorism, and many fear that Al Qaeda and different radical teams will once more discover protected haven there.
He additionally expressed concern for his mother and father and siblings again in Kabul. His brother, who helped U.S. contractors in Afghanistan, is making use of for a particular immigrant visa. He is uncertain, although, that it is going to be granted. Although his brother went to the airport with him, Noah stated he was denied a flight to America.
Nadima, a 36-year-old former authorities worker in Afghanistan, fled Kabul the day the Taliban seized management. After her co-workers have been stopped by Taliban members on their strategy to the workplace, they advised her to get on a flight overseas.
Walking greater than two hours to the airport, she noticed automobiles “bumper to bumper” and felt a “sense of panic” as individuals feared the return of the Taliban, she stated.
“I felt heavy,” she stated. “Everything I worked for, 20 years of work, crumbling in front of my eyes.”
She ultimately secured a flight to Ukraine that day and arrived at Dulles on Aug. 17. She is now staying with a buddy in Arlington, Va., and she hopes to discover a job quickly.
At the airport on Wednesday, the scene outdoors the processing heart was tense. Anxious relations paced round, ready for their family members to emerge. Many stopped airport employees to ask about flight arrival occasions.
Joe, a 35-year-old hospitality employee who lives in Prince William County, Va., arrived on the airport at eight:30 a.m. to attend for his spouse and two daughters to land. His spouse left for Kabul with their youngsters in early June to attend her brother’s marriage ceremony, which was alleged to happen on Aug. 15, the day the Taliban took management of the capital.
“I’m feeling a little more relieved knowing they’re on a flight home, but I would be a lot happier if I saw them already,” he stated.