Irish citizen stranded in Kabul says situation is ‘crazy’

‘The street seems empty and fearful, with a feeling of despair and hopelessness’, he says

An Afghan girl sits inside a bus shelter in Kabul on Monday. Photograph: Hoshang Hashimi / AFP via Getty Images

An Afghan girl sits inside a bus shelter in Kabul on Monday. Photograph: Hoshang Hashimi / AFP via Getty Images

 

A young Irish citizen stranded in Kabul has described the situation there as “crazy”.

“You can hear hundreds of planes in the sky, explosions around Kabul, mostly the airport,’’ he told The Irish Times on Monday night. “The street itself seems empty and fearful, with a feeling of despair and hopelessness.”

“Talibans are out in the road, with guns out and no one to answer to. They can shoot anyone they want without any consequences. On top of that, they are looking for people who have worked in the government or with foreigners in the past.”

He said a neighbour who had worked for the Afghan government in the past had been taken. “Noone knows where he is now.”

“It just breaks my heart to see so many people suffer, women, men, children, no jobs, the economy gone to bits. It seems it’s gone back to the Stone Age. It’s just disheartening.”

“And the situation, in my opinion, isn’t getting any better.”

Contact was made with the man, who asked not to be named due to concern for the safety of his family, via an internet phone connection that frequently broke down.

He is among some 60 Irish citizens in Kabul, and their family members, who are seeking support from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Having graduated from an Irish university, he was working with a company in Ireland, before he went to visit family members in Afghanistan some months ago.

He said, for reasons including that he and other family members in Afghanistan had contracted Covid-19 during his visit there, he was unable to return to Ireland over recent months and is now stranded in Kabul following the collapse of the Afghan government.

He wants to return to Ireland but is reluctant to do so without his wife and other family members.

The family fear they are in danger because a relative worked in the past for a US company, he outlined.

The man said he is “okay” and is hopeful he will be fine but that his concern is for his wife and other family members.

“I was in the process of getting a passport for my wife and then the government fell. Right now, I can’t get her a passport as every office is closed with no details on when they will open.”

He is now staying with his wife in her family home.