- Title: Afghan woman in Germany begs Merkel to get her family to safety
- Date: 30th August 2021
- Summary: BONN, GERMANY (AUGUST 29, 2021) (REUTERS) PARI S. IN LIVING ROOM, DARKENED TO PROTECT IDENTITY (SOUNDBITE) (German) PARI S., AN AFGHAN WOMAN WHO LIVES IN GERMANY BUT WAS VISITING FAMILY WHEN TALIBAN TOOK OVER AND HAD TO FLEE, SAYING: "My brother lives in the centre of Kabul. We got to his house and after a few minutes there was an attack right nearby. And then it carried on all night. With rockets and shooting. For me, I remember it a bit from 20 years ago when there was the war, but for my kids it was awful. They were screaming, and even my son who really wanted to go to Afghanistan, said Mama: I never want to come here again, I am happy if we manage to make it from Kabul to Dubai unharmed. (VOICE BREAKING) It was an awful experience." VARIOUS OF PARI S. LOOKING AT HER PHONE
- Embargoed: 13th September 2021 11:16
- Keywords: Afghanistan Chancellor Angela Merkel Kabul Taliban evacuees flight refugees
- Location: BONN + BERLIN, GERMANY / HERAT + KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
- City: BONN + BERLIN, GERMANY / HERAT + KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Europe,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA002ESH2H53
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Pari S. has trouble talking about her family, who are still in Afghanistan, without breaking down in tears.
The 37-year-old mother of three has settled in Bonn with her husband, both have jobs there and German citizenship. This summer after some indecision the family had finally decided to visit the family in Herat and Kabul so that their eldest son could see his grandparents for the first time in 9 years. The two younger children, who like their brother were born in Germany, had never met the family in the flesh.
The family are one of the lucky ones, Pari explained. After a 'terrible' night of bombings and shooting, they made it out of Afghanistan on August 6 on one of the last civilian flights ahead of the evacuation flights.
"My brother lives in the centre of Kabul. We got to his house and after a few minutes, there was an attack right nearby. And then it carried on all night. With rockets and shooting. For me, I remember it a bit from 20 years ago when there was the war, but for my kids it was awful. They were screaming, and even my son who really wanted to go to Afghanistan said, Mama: I never want to come here again, I am happy if we manage to make it from Kabul to Dubai unharmed. It was an awful experience," Pari told Reuters, hiding her face for her own personal safety.
Initially, her father and siblings refused to leave the country.
Her father and brother are journalists and have worked towards a democratisation of the country, Pari's father also worked at Herat University for years, they are well known in their home towns, she says, and she is certain that they are in grave danger.
"He (her father) was employed for many years at Herat University and was also editor in chief for a radio station and he is in a lot of danger. He is well known there. Until the last minute he didn't want to leave Afghanistan, he said he never wanted to leave his country. But now he himself says that he can't continue to live there and wants to leave. And now I hope there is a way that we can help or he helps himself to find a way to live in peace."
"This is a big worry for all of us and also for my father and my father said the other day, that he wasn't just worried about himself but for my sister, because she is unmarried and if they start looking for my father and they find him then they will find my sister and take her too, and maybe force her into marriage or something, which is happening a lot at the moment," Paris says.
Pari S. is putting all her hope in the German government that her family will be recognised as persons in need.
She says she has written and telephoned with various government agencies but has had no reply. Efforts by the family in Afghanistan have also had no response.
"'Those in need of protection', that is what the chancellor Angela Merkel said: she said that if the people are really in need of protection then she would help these people. And my family is in this position. I have all the documents, all the proof. My father also tried to sort it out in Afghanistan, my brother and my sister too, but they never got a response. And I have written many e-mails and rung several times but with no success," Pari said through her tears.
(Production: Tanya Wood, Erol Dogrudogan, Andi Kranz / Barbara Woolsey)
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