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Afghan musician reunites with his family years after fleeing Taliban to study freely in U.S.

Musician reunites with family after fleeing Taliban
Afghan musician reunites with family after fleeing Taliban 02:51

During the tortuous wait at airport arrivals, Baset Azizi made this empty vow: "I'll try not to cry." 

But, of course, he would. For the first time in his life, all of his dreams were coming true. 

CBS News first met Azizi in 2016 when he was living in Afghanistan and sent a Facebook message to David Bilger, a trumpet player for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Azizi was looking for a mentor. 

"He started off saying, 'I'm the best trumpet player in Afghanistan, because there are only two.' And I was immediately taken by him. I said, 'OK, I've got to read the rest of what he has to say,'" Bilger told CBS News at the time. 

Azizi told him how hard-liners wanted Western music banned and the players punished. Azizi told CBS News he felt like he was risking his safety, but he played anyway. 

With that devotion, and some help from Bilger, Azizi got into the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts, a high school in Michigan. From there, he attended college in the U.S. and even got an internship with a congressman.

Azizi so cherished his new American freedom that he once broke out his trumpet in a crowded airport to honor a group of veterans he saw. That's the kind of kid he is. 

But he has also been a lonely kid. He hadn't seen his family, who were still in Afghanistan, in six years. They fled after the fall of Kabul in August and were evacuated to Abu Dhabi, where quarantines, overcrowding at U.S. processing sites and paperwork stalled their journey to America — until now.

Last month, his father, mother and three sisters joined him in Kansas City. 

"It was a dream to see my son before dying," his mother, Parwana, told CBS News. 

His family arrived just in time to see him graduate from the University of Kansas.

One day, Azizi hopes to work for the U.S. State Department as an ambassador. Until then, he's perfectly happy with his humble titles of brother and son.

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