Local Afghan Americans Worried For Relatives Left Behind In Afghanistan
ORANGE COUNTY (CBSLA) - Local Afghan Americans living in Southern California are experiencing a range of emotions, from heartbreak to betrayal and survivor's guilt as the U.S. military withdrawals its forces from Afghanistan.
"I could've been one of those kids that was left behind," said Salmon Hossein, a San Juan Capistrano resident. "My sister, my family, my cousins, that could've been us and in any other context, it would have been us. So, we're heartbroken. We're confused why it seems like our foreign policy was so callous in the way we left in such a hurried rush.
Gulshan Yusufzai is the Executive Director of the Muslim American Society, a nonprofit that provides social services for the Middle Eastern community in Los Angeles. Her immediate family is out of Afghanistan, but her relatives remain in her embattled homeland.
"The majority of them would like to be out. Can they get out? Can we help them? There is no way and right now, the community is in deep depression and they are disappointed in many ways. At the same time, very sad, but most...I think what's hardest is there's no way to help them back home at this point," Yusufzai said.
Afghan security guard Mohammad Latifi helped U.S. forces on an Army base. Hossein's father, who lives in San Juan Capistrano and worked with the guard, had hoped that U.S. government would help to get Latif's family out. He fears delays have put them in serious jeopardy.
"And my dad was furious. He was angry. He was heartbroken. He said, 'Are you not watching the news? Can you not see that the tarmac is completely closed off? There are no planes going in. There are no planes going out. Now, you're trying to help?'" Hossein said.
The Latif family is now in hiding.
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