Kabul, Afghanistan – For the past three days, Yasna Haqparast, her husband and two children have been standing outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
Every day, when Huck Palast and her family waited at the dividing line between the airport and the Star Wedding Hall, they heard gunshots. Taliban members shot into the air one after another, trying to disperse the hundreds gathered outside. Families. Closed airport.
Haqparast and her family fled the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, one of the last urban centers to fall into the Taliban last week, and hope to travel to Canada on Sunday night. However, when they arrived at the airport, they found themselves in a disaster.
“Crowds are surging, everyone is pushing each other,” Hackpalast said of the thousands of people who gathered around the airport on the night when President Ashraf Ghani fled and the Taliban arrived in the capital Kabul. Shi said.
Sources told Al Jazeera that the airport has suffered severe damage and will take some time to repair. They said that due to the crowds, the security scanner was broken and the interior and gates of the international terminal also needed repairs.
It is not only those who are eager to board commercial flights to Dubai and Istanbul, or private evacuation flights to the United States and the United Kingdom, who gather around the airport — there are also looters.
Fahim, a government worker who tried to board the flight to Istanbul, said the impact of Ghani’s departure was immediate.
“As soon as they heard him leave, everyone left their posts,” he said of people from government ministers to city police, including those near the airport. He said the thief took advantage of confusion and insecurity.
“They will steal luggage from you,” both Fahim and Huckpalast said.
Haqparast said that people lost their belongings while rushing through the crowds of checkpoints and thieves.
“We ran so fast that everything that was not stolen fell out of our hands and pockets.”
She said that her family’s documents, passports and money fell on the concrete road leading to the international terminal.
But she said that the worst part of the ordeal was seeing terrifying scenes that went viral on social media, including video clips that appeared to show young men grabbing a US military plane and then rising into the air on it. When falling.
With no money to return to Magyar and no papers for them, Huck Palast said that her family was forced to sleep on the “mud” outside the airport until the airport was reopened.
However, without a ticket, passport or visa, it is difficult to enter even if the airport resumes normal operations.
Standing just a few feet from Haqparast is a young man in a white piranha robe and a black New York Yankees hat. When a Taliban member waved a plastic tube to push the crowd away, he smirked in disbelief.
The man in his 20s tried to prevent people from running out of the Taliban fighters’ pipes. He did not reveal his name, but said he had previously worked for the Canadian Special Forces.
He said he was too. He was going to take an evacuation flight, but he had been trapped outside the airport for several days.
But like Huck Palast, he saw a stark contrast between himself and the hundreds of people trying to enter the heavily guarded airport through the roundabout, and the hundreds of people standing outside the luxurious wedding hall opposite the airport. Entrance.
“I want to say that 90% to 95% of these people have no documents,” he said, agreeing with Haqparast.
Haqparast was particularly angry at reports that people without any documents (including passports) were able to board an airplane and leave the country.
“It’s not fair, they occupy the legal position of despair,” she said of the men, women and children who have been crowded near the airport since Sunday.
But it’s not just people who are trapped trying to take an evacuation flight. Afghans with dual passports who tried to board a commercial flight had to wait for hours on the drone.
The family of an elderly former diplomat said that the 80-year-old was left on the plane to Istanbul for more than 14 hours, most of the time without food, water, medicine or unable to recharge his cell phone. power supply.
Another former staff member of the Presidential Palace was trapped at the airport for more than 8 hours. Although she was in a car with a black government license plate, she had to leave in a “simple” car with another former court worker on Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
Both former officials were afraid to return to their homes and stayed in humble houses in the capital until their respective countries could help them leave Kabul.
Hackpalast, a woman traveling with her husband and two children, blamed Afghan Airlines staff (reported missing once), American and British soldiers in charge of the airport, and the Taliban for the chaos.
She also criticized the unclear visa procedures of foreign countries and the vague promise of resettlement of thousands of people.
“Everyone thinks in some way that a country will accept them, but they have nothing. There is no evidence.”
But her responsibilities extend beyond the scope of the past few months.
“To see how they handled this war, they have to come and see what they have created,” she said, while gunfire echoed throughout the area.