Fear, hiding and frustration for Afghans left behind one year after U.S. evacuation

For Afghans left behind, the year since the U.S. exit has been marked by fear as hopes of leaving fade. But the fate of those who made it out is also uncertain.

One year has now passed since former Army Capt. Jeff Trammell began exchanging text messages in the middle of the night with his one-time Afghan interpreter, desperate to get him and his family on one of the last flights out of Kabul as the U.S. withdrew and the Taliban took control of the country.

“Cover your daughters and stay in line,” he instructed.

In the months since, the Department of Homeland Security has resettled more than 80,000 Afghan refugees, the vast majority of whom escaped before the end of the U.S. withdrawal in September 2021. 

But tens of thousands who wanted to leave were left behind. Trammell’s interpreter is still in hiding, too afraid to step outside for fear he and his family will be found and executed by the Taliban.

Women’s rights leader describes rocky arrival in the U.S. after fleeing AfghanistanJune 20, 202202:32“After Americans left Afghanistan, I passed one year of my life like a prisoner. No work, no food,” Trammell’s interpreter told NBC News. At night, the family goes to their rooftop to get their only breath of fresh air for the day, he said.


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