“It was a panic environment. We came here because the Taliban entered the airport,” said Gull, an airport police officer in Kabul, who was among the people who flew to Doha.
The day after Kabul’s fall, he said he had arrived at the usual location of the airport, which felt like a ghost town. All security forces and airline crew members abandoned their posts. By noon, turmoil dominated the tarmac as people flooded the airport.
Understand the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan
Who is the Taliban? The Taliban occurred in 1994 in the turmoil after the Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989. They enforced the rules with brutal public punishments such as whiplash, cutting and mass slaughter. Here we will elaborate on the story of their origin and their record as ruler.
Gull joined the frenzy and jumped on four commercial planes-all supported by the mayhem-before forcing his way into an American evacuation flight. Nobody came out, even when the Americans turned off the air conditioner and told everyone that the plane broke.
Now, as he settled down in his life at Camp as Syria, he said the sudden decision to leave weighed heavily on him. His wife and three children under the age of six remain in Kabul.
“I can’t sleep at night,” he said. “I was part of a security force. What if my family was targeted? Who is feeding them?”
“I’m here alone, and they’re in terrible Afghanistan,” he added.
No one knows until Gull and others have to wait for screening in the camp and can’t work or send money to their families.
Crowds climb to use some phone chargers — often among the only items they bring, other than the clothes they wore. People clean the cigarette butts on the ground and collect a small amount of tobacco. Around 5 am every day, people line up outside the food hall and wait for hours to sweat out of their clothes in the relentless heat. Last week, some in the camp complained of food shortages after being given the ready-to-eat meals or MREs normally used by the military.