‘It's a Disaster': Bay Area's Afghan Community Calls for Help Amid Crisis

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The Bay Area's Afghan community, one of the largest in the western world, is pleading for help amid the ongoing chaos in Afghanistan.

The Taliban have seized power in Afghanistan two weeks before the U.S. was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war.

Ramin Kahn, who was born in Afghanistan, sobbed as he described seeing a video showing Afghans clinging to a U.S. plane as it departed.

"They told us that it's going to be a peaceful transition, right?" Kahn said. "And women’s rights, the kids' rights, the media and all those things will be preserved. What happened to those?"

Kahn's sister and family are still in Afghanistan.

Many Bay Area families fear for their loved ones overseas as the crisis continues to unfold in Afghanistan. On Monday night, some emotional reunions in San Francisco after some managed to make it out of the chaos safely. Marianne Favro reports.

"It's like they're humans or they're animals" Kahn said. "They want to get out of Afghanistan. It's a disaster."

Kahn's wife worries about her female cousin.

"She had to burn her forms, her papers, her identity, her badge, her work, her everything," she said. "All work documentation, she had to burn it because they’re going door to door as of today finding out who’s working with the U.S. government."

Congressman Eric Swalwell said his East Bay district has one of the largest Afghan American populations in the U.S. He wants to help refugee families settle in America.

"They will go to various military bases," he said. "Of course, if they've not fully gone though background checks yet, they would go through background checks. They would receive a health screening and a health check."

Heidi Kuhn, CEO of the Bay Area nonprofit Roots of Peace, said hundreds of her organization's employees in Afghanistan need protection, especially women and girls.

President Joe Biden defended his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan amid growing chaos and admitted he did not expect such a swift takeover by the Taliban. Watch Biden's full remarks here.

"Not only are these young girls being raped, they’re being branded with hot irons on their arms after being raped," she said.

Jawid Ameria came to the states five years ago after helping the U.S. as a translator before he left Afghanistan. He hopes the U.S. will protect those fleeing now like he's been protected in America.

"Do not let Afghanistan be destroyed by the radical extremist group," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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