Coffs Coast’s Afghan Community’s Heartbreak Over Taliban Takeover

Australian citizens and visa holders prepare to board the Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III aircraft, as Australian Army infantry personnel provide security and assist with cargo at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul. Photo: Australian Defence Force.


AS Kabul fell under the rule of the Taliban, former refugees who settled in Coffs Harbour watched on in horror.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one former refugee agreed to speak with News Of The Area.

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For this story’s purpose he will be called Ahmad.

Ahmad and his family moved to Coffs Harbour in 2015 under the refugee settlement program.

Ahmad said to watch what is happening in Afghanistan is just painful.

“Why is it happening to our country?

“Now there is no hope to go back.

“I have lost the hope to have a possible future in Afghanistan,” he said.

“I was planning to go back after studying at university and to take some of my friends to show them what a beautiful place it was.

“Now I cannot do that.”

Ahmad said while his family and friends were surprised by the Taliban takeover, he had his suspicions about the Taliban’s return.

“I was expecting the Taliban to come,” he said.

“In terms of them getting Kabul within a week that was a surprise.

“That was such a short time.”

Ahmad’s family has been severely affected by the Taliban’s return to power, with some fleeing to Iran and some becoming internally displaced persons.

Ahmad explained why the family became displaced within Afghanistan.

“The reason the family moved from their town into another area in Afghanistan was that when the Taliban came last time they murdered a family member in the late 90s,” he said.

“He was targeted because he was a security worker for a government official.

“So the family fear reprisal that they will also be targeted.”

Ahmad’s mother also agreed to talk to News Of The Area.

She described watching the fall of Kabul.

“It is terrible, scary.

“Such a big change in my country, in language, in rules, in everything.

“This has finished for us in my country.

“I think I will never be able to live in Afghanistan again.

“I hope I can get my family out of Afghanistan.

“This is my dream.”


By Sandra MOON

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