VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach man from Afghanistan lives in fear as he watches his homeland fall into chaos with his family stranded and in danger.
Click here to subscribe to WAVY Breaking News email alerts.
The man, called Naz for his safety and that of his family, speaks exclusively to 10 On Your Side about the situation he and his family are facing.
“It’s real, it’s happening. It’s not a movie. It’s not just a fictional story, ”he said.
Naz, now a naturalized American citizen, was born in Afghanistan and believed that education was the key to his country’s freedom.
This is what motivated him to serve as a translator for the forces led by the United States military and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2009.
“I have been to the provinces to try to educate people about elections on how they can elect their own people and how no one can impose their government on them,” he said.
During this time, he met his wife, an Air Force veteran who served as a US intelligence agent.
They married months later and moved to Virginia Beach in 2015, where they have lived ever since. However, his whole family still lives in Afghanistan.
For years her family has been trying to help change her country of origin, starting with her grandfather.
Unfortunately, this comes at a price.
“The very first [time] when [the] The Taliban entered, he was taken away and until today we have not found his body. We haven’t found it. We don’t know where they are taking him, ”Naz said. “He disappeared.”
The disappearance of his grandfather, however, did not deter him or the other members of his family, as the world was on their side.
Not only did Naz work with the US government, his father and uncle also worked for the former Afghan government.
But now that the world is gone, they are at great risk under Taliban control.
He says the Taliban are now targeting people who have worked with the United States, its allies and the Afghan government.
Neighbors say he and his family are well known in their village as being pro-American and critical of the Taliban regime. They are also supporters of women’s rights and education.
“They are going to kill them,” he said. “There is no court, there is no judge, there is no need for proof. If the rumors say that you have been involved in some way or that your family has been involved in some way, they are going to set an example of you.
After working as a translator for over 10 years, her uncle now has a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), but cannot get to Kabul airport due to Taliban checkpoints.
“So you have to take these documents with you through these checkpoints, which is technically a weapon that you give to the Taliban to kill you,” he said.
They contacted Senators Warner and Kaine as well as Representative Luria for assistance.
They were told that their request had been sent to the State Department.
Now all he can do is wait and pray.
“If it was your mother, your father, your brother, your sister, your family. If this was your family, what if it happened to you? Naz asked. “What if one day someone knocks on the door, brings the men out of their homes, murders them and then takes the women?” “
Naz has started his own business in Hampton Roads since moving to Virginia in late 2015.
His family members in the United States have started a petition to raise awareness of the issues he and other Afghan Americans are experiencing.
Learn more about this petition here.
Get the free WAVY News app, available for download in the App Store and google play, to stay up to date with all your local news, weather and sports, live TV news and other live events.