- An Afghan baby who was handed to a US soldier during the withdrawal from Afghanistan was reunited with his family.
- Sohail Ahmadi was two months old when he was separated from his parents at Kabul Airport.
- After months of searching, Sohail has been located and reunited with his grandfather.
A baby who was separated from his parents during the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August last year was reunited with his family.
Two-month-old Sohail Ahmadi was separated from his family when they gathered outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 19, 2021, as US troops facilitated a chaotic military and civilian pullout after the Taliban took over the country.
Mirza Ali Ahmadi and his wife, Suraya, told Reuters they were at the airport with their five children trying to evacuate when the crowd outside the gates became increasingly chaotic. When a US soldier on the other side of the fence asked if they needed help, the couple handed their baby over, believing they would be reunited once they reached the entrance 16 feet (4.88m) away.
But when they got to the gate, baby Sohail was nowhere to be found. Ahmadi spent several days trying to find his child, but the family eventually flew to Qatar and then Germany before finally landing in the US.
An Afghan refugee organization in late November last year said they had received “a very credible lead” regarding Sohail’s whereabouts. Multiple governmental agencies, including the Department of Defense and the State Department, were also searching for Sohail at the time.
Sohail was located with Hamid Safi, a taxi driver who told Reuters he found Sohail alone at the airport.
“I entered the airport and saw a baby lying on the ground in a very bad state. I looked around and showed the child to many people, but I couldn’t find anyone related to him. I called my wife at home, and I refused to go to America, I brought the child home. I bought him milk, and we have been taking care of the child since that time.”
Safi had named the baby Mohammad Abed and was raising him as his own, Reuters reported. Farima, Safi’s wife, said it is hard to let Sohail go.
“We love this child,” Farima said, per Reuters.
Sohail was reunited with his grandfather, Mohammad Qasem Razawi, on Saturday after weeks of “negotiations and pleas” and even a “brief detention” of Safi by Taliban police, according to Reuters.