Afghan Baby Handed to US Soldier During Taliban Siege Finally Reunited With Family | Read Moving Story

Desperate to flee, the infant boy's father had handed him to a US soldier across an airport wall in the chaos of the American evacuation of Afghanistan.

Updated: January 10, 2022 4:05 PM IST

By Trending Desk | Edited by Ritu Singh

Afghan Baby Handed to US Soldier During Taliban Siege Finally Reunited With Family
Afghan Baby Handed to US Soldier During Taliban Siege Finally Reunited With Family

Kabul: A baby boy who was separated from his parents during the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 was finally reunited with his family on Saturday. Sohail Ahmadi, who was two months old when he disappeared on Aug. 19, was reunited with his relatives in Kabul, Reuters reported.

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After Taliban seized control of the country, many Afghans had gathered outside the airport in Kabul on August 19, 2021. Desperate to flee, the infant boy’s father had handed him to a US soldier across an airport wall in the chaos of the American evacuation of Afghanistan, according to Reuters. His parents waited around 30 minutes before getting into the airport but Sohail could not be found. They were told the baby may have been put on another flight. After frantically searching for him, his father, mother Suraya and their four other children were put on an evacuation flight to the US. For months they had no idea where their young son was.

Meanwhile, An Afghan refugee organization in late November last year said they had received “a very credible lead” regarding Sohail’s whereabouts. Sohail was located with Hamid Safi, a 29-year-old taxi driver who told Reuters he went to the airport to help his brother and family evacuate. While there, he found the baby, “alone and crying on the ground.” After looking for his parents, Safi decided to keep the baby and took him home to raise as his own.

“I am keeping this baby. If his family is found, I will give him to them. If not, I will raise him myself,” he told Reuters in November.

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Initially, he refused to hand the baby over and demanded he and his family also be evacuated to the US. After more than seven weeks of negotiations and pleas, and ultimately a brief detention by Taliban police, Safi finally handed the child back to his grandfather and other relatives still in Kabul. The family gave Safi around 100,000 Afghani, equivalent to $950, for caring for the child. The taxi driver said handing back the baby was “very difficult” and he was sorely missed.

After getting Sohil into his grandfather’s care, the parents were able to see their son via video chat on Saturday. The Ahmadi family, which relocated to Michigan in December, are hoping their baby will be reunited with them soon in the U.S.

Reacting to the picture, one user wrote, ”Heartbreaking in so many aspects ,” while another commented, ”This is a devastating story of love and loss..”

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Published Date: January 10, 2022 3:57 PM IST

Updated Date: January 10, 2022 4:05 PM IST