Kabul: An infant boy handed in desperation to a soldier across an airport wall in the chaos of the American evacuation of Afghanistan has been found and was reunited with his relatives in Kabul on Saturday. The baby, Sohail Ahmadi, was just two months old when he went missing on Aug 19 as thousands of people rushed to leave Afghanistan as it fell to the Taliban.
After more than seven weeks of negotiations and pleas, and ultimately a brief detention by Taliban police, Safi finally handed the child back to his jubilant grandfather and other relatives still in Kabul. They said they would now seek to have him reunited with his parents and siblings who were evacuated months ago to the United States.
During the tumultuous Afghan evacuation over the summer, Mirza Ali Ahmadi – the boy’s father who had worked as a security guard at the US embassy – and his wife Suraya feared their son would get crushed in the crowd as they neared the airport gates en route to a flight to the United States.
At that moment, the Taliban pushed the crowd back and it would be another half hour before Ahmadi, his wife and their four children were able to enter. Ahmadi said he searched desperately for his son inside the airport and was told by officials that he had probably been taken out of the country separately and could be reunited with them later.
The rest of the family was evacuated to a military base in Texas. For months they did not know where their son was.
Safi said he found Sohail alone and cried on the ground. After he says he tried unsuccessfully to find the baby’s parents inside, he decides to take the baby home with his wife and children. Safi has three daughters of her own and she said that before her death her mother’s greatest wish was to have a son.
(With Inputs from PTI)