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Having left for Afghanistan to introduce his child to his family, Mohammed Zaher Omar, pharmacist and Franco-Afghan doctor, is one of the thousands of people who wanted to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible after the capture of Kabul by the Taliban. A few hours after his return to France, he recounts the panic at the airport, the death of his mother-in-law, trampled by the crowd, as well as the despair of Afghan women, who “fear for their future”.
For Mohammed Zaher Omar, “everything changed so quickly”. With his wife and son, this Franco-Afghan doctor and pharmacist left the city of Tours to join the rest of his family in Afghanistan, shortly before the capture of Kabul by the Taliban. On France 24, he told, Wednesday August 25, his hasty departure from his native country.
“When we heard that airport security would be guaranteed until at least the beginning of September, I thought to myself that this might be our last chance to go see the family”, explains the doctor. Omar, who traveled to Afghanistan to introduce his son to his sick mother. Then, “everything changed so quickly. We never imagined that the arrival of the Taliban and the fall of the Afghan army would happen so quickly,” he says.
When Mohammed Zaher Omar learned of the fall of Kabul, it was in the middle of the day, in a taxi. “My wife, family and I figured we needed to get out of the country as quickly as possible. I wanted to go to the main office of Emirates Airlines to change our return date. But I did. I got stuck for two hours in a traffic jam. Everyone was running around. We didn’t know what was going on, “he recalls. It was on the phone, online with his family that he learned the news. “My family members have all said to me, ‘If you are in town, find any way to get home because Kabul is going to fall into the hands of the Taliban in a few hours,'” recalls Mohammed Zaher Omar. .
“A real war scene”
A few days later, Mohammed Zaher Omar’s stepfather and stepmother were scheduled to fly to the United States. “On the night of August 18 to 19, they were able to pass Taliban checkpoints and during the night, as there were so many people, my mother-in-law was trampled and she died on the spot. When I went there- low, I spent almost a day just to get my mother-in-law’s body out, “he says. Today, Mohammed Zaher Omar does not know who is responsible for the death of his mother-in-law. “Is it the US military? The mob? The Taliban?” He asks himself.
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Witnessing scenes of panic at Kabul airport, stormed by the population, the Franco-Afghan doctor describes “a real scene of war”. “People were running everywhere and in all directions. They were as many people without papers and passports as people with visas like my father-in-law and my mother-in-law,” he said, explaining that they couldn’t get into the airport. Indeed, according to Mohammed Zaher Omar, “everyone wants to go home and the Taliban are chasing people”. The man said he saw several bodies lying at Kabul airport.
A return to France between relief and concern
Today, Mohammed Zaher Omar says he is “relieved” to have returned to France. But he is worried about his relatives who have not been able to leave Afghanistan. He is also worried about the fate of his fellow citizens, especially women. “I saw the tears in the eyes of the girls, of the women who feared not only for their future but also for their life, the life of their family, their future, their studies. It is very painful to see these young girls cry for their future, because they no longer have a future under the Taliban. “
In this context, he calls on the international community to help those who want to resist the Taliban. Resistance alone will not be able to work. If we want it to work, we need external support, “said Mohammed Zaher Omar, who said he was disappointed with the Americans’ position.” We did not expect that at all, especially from ‘an ally,’ he says.