Hundreds gather at Balboa Park vigil to show support for Afghanistan amid turmoil

Local

SAN DIEGO — Hundreds of people came to a candlelight vigil Thursday to show support for Afghan families after the Taliban took control of the country.

Many members of the Afghan diaspora were among the crowd at Balboa Park that prayed for peace and safety for Afghanis who remain in the country.

“I look back at everything that is happening in Afghanistan and all I can think about is, ‘What did they do to deserve that? What were the chances that they were born in that condition?’” student Sana Hashemi said.

Resistance flags of red, black and green representing the former government were worn and carried by the group as they tried to understand the chaotic exit of U.S. and Afghan citizens from the capital city of Kabul.

Fear of Taliban retribution against government soldiers and citizens leaves some organizers feeling helpless.

“It’s just very scary to see it, for people to actually think — that they are compassionate to the Taliban and saying it’s going to change. It’s not the case,” Zulaikha Rahim said.

Organizers said Thursday’s vigil was an opportunity to pray and start building a coalition to assist families who make it to the U.S.

“I have family there I’ve never met. I have my cousins calling me terrified, because they don’t know what to do,” Balkiz Nasery said.

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