Thursday Aug 18, 2022
Thursday Aug 18, 2022

New life, new struggles: Afghans still adjusting to US

2022 May 10, 11:57, Washington
Hasibullah Hasrat, 29, is interviewed at his apartment, in Hyattsville, Md., Wednesday, May 4, 2022. (AP Photo)

Taliban forces had taken the Afghan capital. Crowds of panicked people thronged the airport. And a young man who had worked as a subcontractor for the U.S. military faced a terrible choice.

Hasibullah Hasrat, after having navigated the chaotic streets and Taliban checkpoints to make it inside the airport, could either go back for his wife and two young children or board an evacuation flight and get them later. Not taking the flight likely meant none of them would get out of Afghanistan.

Hasrat’s decision haunts him. He is in the U.S., one of more than 78,000 Afghans admitted into the country following the U.S. troop withdrawal in August that ended America’s longest war. But his family hasn’t been able to join him. They’re still in Afghanistan, where an economic crisis has led to widespread hunger and where Taliban repression is on the rise.

“My wife is alone there,” he said, his voice breaking as he describes nightly phone calls home. “My son cries, asks where I am, when am I coming. And I don’t know what to say.”


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