EL CAJON, Calif. — El Cajon businessman Ajrudin Nabizada is following every piece of news coming out of Afghanistan, including updates from family members who now live in fear as the Taliban take over the country.
“They are like, so worried,” Nabizada said. “I talked to my nephew last night. He was crying, ‘Uncle, what will happen to me?’”
Growing up in Kabul, the local restaurant owner is pained to watch the violent images as panic spreads across his home country.
“I’m really, really scared — really sad — see all those bad things happening,” he said. “The Taliban are killing civilians — they are killing innocent people.”
In Afghanistan, Nabizada was a translator for the U.S. military for eight years.
He says he had his own frightening experiences with the Taliban who threatened him twice as he walked home at night.
“Before saying anything, slapped me in the face and said, ‘This is your last warning. I told you not to work with the foreigners or the U.S., or I will put a grenade in your home and I will kill your entire family.’”
After the threats, the U.S. military got Nabizada – along with his wife and kids – out of the country and they moved to the San Diego area in 2014.
“To be honest with you, I’m really thankful to the U.S. government for saving my life and bringing me here,” said Nabizada, adding he has never returned to Afghanistan and has no plans to do so.