Local mother, daughters stranded in Afghanistan as Taliban takes over

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KABUL, Afghanistan (NEWS10) — U.S. troops have taken control of Kabul airport as Afghanis are desperately trying to flee the country after the Taliban seized control of the presidential palace. But now, a mother and daughter from Schenectady don’t know how they’re going to get home.

“We fled Kandahar a day before yesterday. We came by bus because the airport was attacked.”

Fazia and her daughters have been visiting family in Afghanistan since June and are now struggling to return to the U.S.

“I feel like mama bear trying to protect my kids and my mom,” she said. “I have my senior mom here, both of my daughters, and we’re just going through a disaster here.”

Caught up in the chaos and panic, the women were trying to make their scheduled flight Sunday afternoon just as Kabul City was falling into Taliban hands.

“All the tanks lined up right next to us. We got really scared. What if the shooting starts? We gotta get out of here. So I told my uncle, let’s turn back around because we don’t know how we’re going to get to the airport. We had enough room to turn around.”

Efforts to reach any U.S. official through embassy channels have failed.

“We did call the American embassy here, but they disconnected the phone. They say their automated message, and when you press the number to get to who you need to talk to, it just hangs up on you.”

After a run-in with some Taliban members, Fazia just wants to get her mom and daughters back to New York.

“‘Mommy! Mommy! They’re coming to get us!’ I said, ‘Just relax. Say your Salam. Pay your respect.’ Just be respectful and don’t even speak a word of English because I didn’t want them to know we’re Americans. All I want to do is take my mom and my daughters out of here and just go home. Home is New York for us.”

Unfortunately, Fazia doesn’t know what to do next. She said they’re running out of money, and it’s too dangerous to go outside where they’re currently staying.

She and her oldest daughter Shazia would like everyone in the U.S. to be aware of what’s going on and how dire a situation it has become for everyone on the ground in Afghanistan.

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