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Afghan journalist with ties to Ann Arbor details escape from Taliban in Kabul

Jawad Sukhanyar is a former University of Michigan fellow

A journalist details his escape from Kaul back to Michigan amid the Taliban chaos.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A man with ties to Ann Arbor said he is happy to be back in Michigan after escaping the Taliban in Afghanistan.

“They were like whooping people. They were hitting people with sticks, with guns. The whole city is trying to leave and it’s impossible. So, there is a bit of a mess there. There’s gunfire,” Jawad Sukhanyar said.

Read: Afghan journalist, former University of Michigan fellow returns to Ann Arbor after escaping Kabul

Sukhanyar is an Afghan journalist and former University of Michigan fellow.

“We saw people coming, all desperate to leave the country and it was just a mess at the airport,” Sukhanyar said.

The New York Times journalist was one of the many people hoping to immediately fly out of the country, along with his wife and children.

“We thought it might be a matter of two or three hours that we would leave, but it didn’t happen that way,” Sukhanyar said.

It took Sukhanyar four days to board and two weeks to make it back to Ann Arbor. He is worried about family members who are still living under the Taliban’s control.

“My mom and my brother, who’s younger than me, they’re in hiding. I’m worried about their safety and security. The Taliban came to our home twice after they came to Kabul, looking for us -- me and by brother,” Sukhanyar said.

Sukhanyar said there are many people suffering in Afghanistan and are trying to get across the border to Pakistan, where it is believed to be much safer.

Read: More Afghanistan coverage

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.