East Bay Man Speaks Out About Escaping Afghanistan, Leaving Family Behind

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Some Americans who managed to escape from Afghanistan are in the Bay Area.

One of them is Qiamuddin Safi, who had a gripping story to tell about his escape and how he had to leave his father behind.

“Honestly, I looked to the clock every minute. 31st,” he said.

Safi was referring to the Aug. 31 deadline. It’s the day Americans have been told they have to be out of Afghanistan.

“My whole family is targeted because of work from 2004 to 2014. We worked,” he said.

Safi is an American citizen. He has been living in the East Bay for 10 years.

Safi went back to Afghanistan on July 6 to help his father, who had to undergo eye surgery.

On Aug. 6, Safi said a bomb went off next to where he was staying. He said the Taliban was targeting the Afghan defense minister, who lived next door.

“I wake up. Everything was dark. A lot of people died outside. Civilians dead, security guards dead,” he said.

Safi told NBC Bay Area that he was injured from the glass. He added that everything happened so quickly.

“Females, males, children. Everyone was screaming in the street. I asked a lady ‘what’s going on?’” he said. “They said, ‘they are coming.’ I said who is coming? ‘The Taliban is coming.'"

Safi said he stayed with a friend for a couple of days and then headed to the airport just like thousands of other people, who were desperate to get out.

Safi said he knows about the fear of being killed. He was involved in an ambush in 2007, while working to patrol base camps for U.S. Force. He lost two brothers and was shot seven times.

Now, he said that he feels helpless and a bit guilty because he can’t get his father out of the country.

“My father is stuck. I don’t want to lose him right now because of his decisions,” he said.

Safi also blames President Joe Biden and his administration for a lack of planning to get Americans out before the Taliban takeover.

President Biden said getting Americans out is a top priority after a 20-year war.

"What about my family? My family is stuck, ” he said.

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