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'First chance we get, we will run for it' - Irish family stuck in Afghanistan

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

10.51 30 Aug 2021


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'First chance we get, we will run for it' - Irish family stuck in Afghanistan


Michael Staines
Michael Staines

10.51 30 Aug 2021


Share this article


An Irish citizen stuck in Afghanistan with his young family has said they plan to “run for it” the first chance they get.

Omid Ahmadi, who has lived in Ireland for 18 years, travelled to Afghanistan with his wife and two daughters before the Taliban seized control and has been unable to leave since.

Now with just hours to go until the US deadline for withdrawal, he told Newstalk Breakfast he will take any chance to get out of the country.

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'First chance we get, we will run for it' - Irish family stuck in Afghanistan

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“I will take any opportunity to get my kids out of this chaos,” he said. “The options that I have are, I went to the Pakistan Embassy there to see if I can get access for a transit visa and we will travel there but I am not sure that is going to happen … basically any opportunity that I see I will run for it.”

Overnight, the Taliban promised to allow Afghans and foreign nationals leave the country provided they have been accepted by other countries.

The announcement was made in a joint statement signed by 100 countries including Ireland.

Mr Ahmadi said the news is positive, but it remains to be seen if the militant group will honour the promise.

“I hope they will but looking at the current situation, I don’t know because the airport is in chaos and I don’t see them letting the flights, especially international flights, be activated very soon,” he said.

Evacuation

He said he tried to get his family to the airport earlier this week but found it “impossible.”

“We were called to go to the airport by the embassy staff but the route was chaos,” he said.

“There were over 10,000 people waiting outside the airport – people that wanted to flee Afghanistan due to their own circumstances. The situation is not great for everybody.

“Everybody was going through that route and we couldn’t make it. I would have had to cross 10,000 people or more to get to the point where we were called. It was impossible with my two young daughters and my wife.”

Taliban

He said he has family members who worked for the previous government – which could make them targets for the Taliban.

“Simply, everybody is at-risk at this stage,” he said. “I mean nobody knows what is going to happen tomorrow or the next day.”

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'First chance we get, we will run for it' - Irish family stuck in Afghanistan

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Main image shows people gathering outside the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, 17-08-2021. Image: AP Photo


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