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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Afghanistan: Baby lost in Kabul evacuation is reunited with family


A baby boy separated from his parents in the chaos of the US evacuation of Afghanistan has finally been reunited with his family.

In August, the Taliban had just taken control of the country, and many Afghans were desperately trying to flee.

Sohail Ahmadi, two months old, was handed to an American soldier over a fence to protect him from the crush as thousands pushed their way into Kabul airport.

But once Sohail and his family were inside, he was nowhere to be found.


After a frantic but futile search for the infant, his father Mirza Ali Ahmadi, a security guard at the US embassy, mother Suraya, and their four other children were placed on an evacuation flight to the United States.


They had no idea where their young son was for months.




Hamid Safi, a 29-year-old taxi driver who found baby Sohail Ahmadi in the airport, cries as he hands Sohail over to his grandfather

However, after reading a Reuters report on the family’s search for Sohail, he was traced to the home of a 29-year-old taxi driver named Hamid Safi in November.


According to the news agency, Mr Safi stated that he discovered Sohail alone and crying on the ground at the airport. After unsuccessfully attempting to locate the boy’s family, he decided to bring him home to his wife and children and raise him as his own son.


They named the baby Mohammad Abed and shared photos of all the kids on Mr Safi’s Facebook page.


When Sohail’s location was confirmed, the baby’s grandfather, Mohammad Qasem Razawi, who lives in the north-eastern province of Badakhshan, travelled to Kabul to request that the child be returned.


According to Reuters, Mr Safi refused to hand over the baby and demanded that he and his family be evacuated to the United States as well.




Mohammad Qasem Razawi, grandfather of baby Sohail Ahmadi, holds his grandson

Following seven weeks of negotiations – and a brief detention of Mr Safi – Taliban police mediated a settlement between the two families, and the baby was returned to his grandfather on Saturday, according to Reuters.


His parents expressed their delight after watching the reunion via video chat.


“There will be celebrations, dancing, and singing,” Mr Razawi explained. “It’s exactly like a wedding.”


They are hopeful that arrangements will be made soon for Sohail to be brought to them in the United States state of Michigan, where they have now settled.


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