Afghan community

‘Very Desperate and Very Nervous': Questions Linger After End of Afghanistan War

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President Joe Biden addressed the nation Tuesday less than 24 hours after formally declaring an end to the war in Afghanistan. 

But there are growing questions about the people left behind, both U.S. citizens and U.S. allies who are now the top targets of the Taliban government, and desperate for a way out.

“They are feeling very desperate and very nervous about their future in Afghanistan,” said Sophia Achermann.

It’s a feeling shared by hundreds, if not thousands, still looking for a way out.  

Achermann, an Afghan American attorney that spoke to NBC Bay Area news just days before the American withdrawal from Afghanistan said desperation and fear have only intensified now that the U.S. has officially withdrawn all U.S. troops.

Among those who are still trapped and fearing for their lives, several of her family members.

“There was an explosion not too far from their home just a few days ago, they are terrified for their personal safety and they just want a safe place to go,” said Achermann.

The president Tuesday acknowledged a couple hundred Americans still left in Afghanistan, along with many more Afghan allies.  

One of those men, Achermann’s family member who helped build a school for girls and who promoted their education.  

“He received a certificate of acknowledgement. Thank you for your sacrifices, for the advancement of women’s education and this certificate also says thank you for putting your life at risk, putting your family’s life at risk,” said Achermann.

But now, those sacrifices don't seem to be helping them much. Achermann has applied for a special immigrant visa for her family members, but has not heard anything from the state department. 

“You have a lot of Afghan allies you are just clueless about where they are in the process and where the department of state is going to get to their application,” said Achermann.  

But she hasn’t lost hope. 

“I’ve had the incredible fortune of linking up with the non profit named Freedom Support Alliance. It’s a group of individuals started by a military interpreter who worked directly with American special forces in Afghanistan and essentially it’s a nonprofit that is actively working to evacuate, support and resettle Afghans, siv applicants, siv holders,” said Achermann.

For now, Achermann and her family – like countless others – continue to wait. And urge not just those in her community - but non-Afghans as well to get involved in any way they can. 

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