Local families share stories of escape from Afghanistan

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EL CAJON, Calif. — Families with students in an El Cajon school district who where stranded in Afghanistan amid the Taliban’s takeover spoke Thursday about their experience escaping the country.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa was joined by four fathers representing their families from Afghanistan.

Mohammed Faizi is a father of five, four of which are students at Cajon Valley Union School District. He says his family went to Afghanistan because he wanted to see his family one last time before the United States withdrew its troops.

The Faizi family left during the students’ summer vacation in July, expecting to return without any issues.

“I made a plan up to the 17th and the Taliban should not get in Kabul till the 31st but unfortunately everything get changed,” Faizi said.

Faizi said trying to leave Afghanistan was difficult. His family made their way through thousands of people, passing the Taliban checkpoint and into the military base. Once inside the military base, the Faizi family waited four days to finally be able to fly out.

“Four days under sunshine, no shelter, nothing, just two blankets,” Faizi said.

He said the military provided them with enough water and meals ready-to-eat while they waited to be flown out.

“They took us to Uzbekistan; after Uzbekistan, they took us to Germany; after Germany, New York; after New York, finally we get home,” said Faizi.

Issa helped seven families with the district get back home. There is still one family left, with three students stranded in Afghanistan.

Issa said the real heroes are the families trying to come back home.

“The only decision I had to make was to put our resources to work,” Issa said. “He had to make life or death decisions for his family. If you don’t call that a hero, I don’t know what you do.”

Community liaisons with the district are still in communication with the one family left in Afghanistan.

According to Dr. David Miyashiro, superintendent for the Cajon Valley Union School District, there are other California students stranded in Afghanistan. He said he hopes the government can help the thousands of families currently stranded in there.  

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