Kent husband, father working to get family out of Afghanistan

KENT, Wash. — A Kent man is desperate to get his family out of Afghanistan after that country’s capital city fell to the Taliban.

He said they are now in hiding.

This is a dire situation for them. And he said he is not alone.

Thousands of Afghans have family members in Kabul.

And all of them, he believes, are in mortal danger.

“It’s really hard” is how Azizula Jabarkhail describes what he is enduring, trying to get his wife and three children out of Kabul. All of it as the government of his native country collapses with breathtaking speed.

“There was no imagination like that,” he lamented.

His wife and children have been in Afghanistan since May. And, he said, it was safe then.

But these fresh images show a different, chaotic country. So he has been talking to the airlines to try to get his family out now. But they said they can’t get his family out until Sept. 4.

And even then, this University of Washington student with a part-time job would have to pay another $8,000.

“I can’t afford that,” he said.

And his wife and children are afraid for their lives. “In Kabul, they are about 4 miles away from the presidential house,” said Jabarkhail. “And the Taliban already approached that area last night. Everyone is afraid.”

“He’s justified to worry for the safety of his family,” said Matthew Griffin.

Ex-Army Ranger Griffin, or “Griff” as he calls himself, did three tours in Afghanistan. His Issaquah-based company, “Combat flipflops,” supports several girls’ schools likely to be overrun by the Taliban.

He said America’s political class has a long history of abandoning countries it once fought for and leaving behind devastation.

“We fought with our hands tied behind our backs,” said Griff. “And now we’re seeing the consequences of it. And hundreds of thousands of people are going to lose their lives or be enslaved in the process.”

He said the only recourse for the U.S. now is to apologize for failing the people of Afghanistan.

Jabarkhail said he wants the U.S. to stay long enough to stabilize the country so that it can be governed.

And he is still working on getting his own family out. But he has no idea when that will be.