In January, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke of an "unfolding nightmare in Afghanistan" and warned the world of a "race against time to help Afghan people". A conversation with Fida Sarwary, an Afghan in Luxembourg, and Sam Mort, a Unicef worker based in Kabul, about a hopeless situation.
Fida Sarwary welcomes us to his flat in the centre of Dudelange. He puts a pink teapot and a tray with biscuits and dried grapes on the floor and sits down on the couch next to it. "The colour of the teapot was chosen by my daughter. She is five years old", says the 27-year-old and his dark eyes start to sparkle. The pot contains black tea from Afghanistan. The sultanas are also from Afghanistan. "I just took them out of the freezer. So they may still be a little cold." At the time Fida packed the tea and sultanas into his suitcase in Afghanistan in August, he did not know whether he would arrive alive in Luxembourg, were his wife and daughter were waiting for him.
Fida had travelled to Afghanistan to visit his sick father. Just two days before his return flight, on August 15, 2021, the Taliban take over the country. Fida is stuck in Kabul for ten days and goes through hell. At the airport he is beaten up by Taliban. He sees children dying and people crushing each other. Meanwhile, his wife and daughter fear for him at home. He told the whole story to the Tageblatt in September.
Today – almost six months later – Fida is still struggling with what he experienced. "The first two weeks after I came back, I could hardly sleep. It is still very hard for me." The fact that the situation in his home country has worsened drastically since his return does the rest.
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