Metro Detroiters fear for families in Afghanistan as Taliban gains control

“A human disaster is happening in front of our eyes and I can see the world is closing its eyes to this human disaster that’s happening,” said Fariba Pajooh.
“A human disaster is happening in front of our eyes and I can see the world is closing its eyes to this human disaster that’s happening,” said Fariba Pajooh.

DEARBORN, Mich. – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has fled the country Sunday, joining thousands of others as the Taliban gained control of the presidential palace.

The Taliban’s takeover came at a stunning speed. Many residents in Metro Detroit are fearful for their families who are still in Afghanistan.

Read: ‘Game over’ -- Westerners rush to leave Kabul, rescue Afghans

The Taliban is expected to declare the creation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the presidential palace in Kabul.

“A human disaster is happening in front of our eyes and I can see the world is closing its eyes to this human disaster that’s happening,” said Fariba Pajooh.

Pojaah is a former Afghanistan journalist who is now a PHD student at Wayne State University.

“I used to live and work in Afghanistan for years,” Pojaah said. “It is unbelievable that the world has closed it’s eyes.”

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Her same pain is shared by Dr. Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni, with the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, who said the Taliban is trying to fool the world with a different image.

“The Taliban is déjà vu all over again. It’s nothing new, despite Taliban’s leadership this time trying to present itself as more modern than what they used to be in the middle of 1990s,” Kazerooni said.

“Nowadays they are trying to have some interviews with the media and they are trying to clean up their ways, but the reality is not that,” Pajooh said.

With a large community of Afghan Americans in Metro Detroit, some are worried about seeing their loved ones once again.

“The fear for them is what will happen to my grandfather, who’s still there or my uncle who’s still there?” Kazerooni said.

“I have a lot of friends. They have loved ones, they have families and their families are living in Afghanistan and they are very worried about this and they don’t know what will happen to them,” Pajooh said.

And although the future is uncertain, one thing these two can agree on is that the U.S. may be responsible.

“The United States has left with huge amounts of weapons, literally without control, spread all over the place and they have taken over,” Kazerooni said.

“I think the United states are responsible about the situation,” Pajooh said. “You can not close your eyes and say that this is what it is.”

Read: Concerns over US terror threats rising as Taliban hold grows

The U.S. Departments of State and Defense released the following joint statement Sunday:


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.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.