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Demonstrators Take To NYC Streets To Demand More Help For Those Trapped In Afghanistan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Demonstrators took to New York City's streets Saturday demanding more resources to rescue Afghans still trapped in Afghanistan.

Protesters gathered to raise awareness to the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Zahra from Morris County, New Jersey, waved her flag high and proud as she joined dozens who took to the steps of the New York Public Library at Bryant Park on Saturday afternoon.

They vented their frustrations, fears and pleas for help for loved ones in Afghanistan.

"We hear their cries. We hear their anger. We feel their fear. We are literally helpless. We cannot do anything," Zahra told CBS2's Thalia Perez.

Behind tears, Zahra's mom, Nora Alemi, shared with CBS2 that she fears retaliation by the Taliban for even speaking out on behalf of her aunts and cousins in Kabul, whom she is desperate to safely help get out of the country.

"Please save Afghanistan, please," Alemi said.

Alemi also said that she and her husband are refugees who fled the Soviet invasion in 1989, leaving behind scores of loved ones.

When she and her daughter last spoke with relatives, they told her they feared for their lives.

"Their salaries are not coming in. They have no money to even get water, to get food. Their jobs are closed," Zahra said.

Meanwhile, here in New York, elected officials are scrambling to help out, like Assemblyman Kenny Burgos, from the Bronx.

"We as elected officials, we as the state of New York and the government of New York, are ready to take in Afghans and refugees. We've done this before. We have the framework, we have the CDOs, we have the resources to handle this," he said.

But help can't come soon enough for Zahra and her family, who wait on pins and needles for word from their loved ones and are hoping for a resolution soon.

At least 90 Afghans, including children, were killed in Thursday's suicide bombing near the airport in Kabul, and more than 150 were wounded.

CBS2's Thalia Perez contributed to this report.

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