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'My Biggest Fear': Afghans in US Worry for Relatives in Afghanistan

Wikimedia Commons / public domain
People outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 17, 2021, two days after the Taliban took over control of the city.

As American citizens and thousands of would-be refugees continue to hope for evacuation from Afghanistan, Afghan immigrants in the United States are fearful of what will happen to their family members still in the country.

Muska Yousuf, a lawyer on the Outer Cape who has relatives in Afghanistan, said she’s been trying to figure out how to help them.

"It's been mind-blowing to figure out where they can go and what the process is like, because it's full of bureaucracy,” she said. “I really don't know — I don't know where they can go."

Yousuf came to the Cape in the 1980s with her parents and sisters. She said she’s especially worried about Afghan women.

"I have a lot of aunts and cousins who are teachers, and they're really scared they're not going to be able to go back to work. And that's my biggest fear,” she said.

Her grandmother recently had a stroke and was evacuated from a hospital out of fear the hospital would be taken over by the Taliban. Everything has been upended in Kabul — from medical care to schools and more, Yousuf said.

"Apparently all the banks are kind of frozen as well,” she said. “All these things are ... applicable to everybody, regardless of socio-economic status."

Yousuf said she's also afraid Afghanistan will become a breeding ground for more terrorists.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.