Afghan woman in Rockford worries about the family left behind as Taliban seize country

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — An Afghan woman who has lived in Rockford for the past few decades says she is worried about the family she left behind after the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban.

Farah Naz and her daughter moved from Afghanistan to Rockford more than 20 years ago, but her other family members, including her son and grandchildren, still live in the country.

“We all lost hope. We do not see any future or light for Afghanistan. It’s just devastating to see your country go through this,” she said.

The Taliban’s swift recapturing of the country has her worried for her family’s safety, she says.

“Their lives are in danger, and they still have so much ahead of them,” Naz said. “With the Taliban being there, they don’t have the opportunity. We’d like them to have the same opportunity as we have here.”

Over the past two decades, Naz has returned to Afghanistan several times to visit with those loved ones. Her most recent trip was just last month.

She says she believes America’s involvement in the country was leading to an increased quality of life for Afghans.

“People were still happy for the fact they were able to freely walk out and do things, and people went to their work,” Naz said. “Now, it’s different. They no longer have the opportunity to even get out and work, and do work to support their families, because it’s in the hands of the Taliban now. They get to control their life.”

She says she is hopeful that help will come for those still trying to leave the country. U.S. troops still control the airport at Kabul, and evacuation planes are leaving around the clock. But Taliban militants are making it hard for citizens to get there.

“At this moment, I can’t even think straight because of what I’m feeling,” Naz said. “We need them here, to safety.”

Naz says she’s concerned the situation will only get worse, once the last American troops leave the country.

President Biden initially said all military personnel would be evacuated by the end of the month, but on Wednesday, in light of the rapid collapse of the government there, he said U.S. troops will remain in the country until all Americans have been evacuated.

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