SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – The Afghan community in the Sacramento area is reeling from the events in their home country, with the concern focused on family members, many of whom have worked for the American government.
Ahmed Shafi is one of 2,000 to 3,000 Afghan immigrants who settled in the Sacramento area, most of them gaining entry because of their work for the U.S. Government or armed forces in their home country.
Shafi speaks to family members every few hours, saying they are trying to stay clear of Taliban enforcers while trapped and unable to leave the country.
“They have nowhere to go, that’s what makes us really really worried,” Shafi said.
One person who spoke to FOX40 and chose to remain anonymous out of fear for his family said his father and two brothers worked for the American Government and are in hiding.
“One of the elder of our village, he says, ‘Please stay away, just go away from here because they are looking for you,'” he explained.
The man says he was told about three men who were killed by the Taliban for working at bureaucratic non-political jobs with the Afghan government.
“They know my family works for the American government,” he told FOX40. “If they find them, I don’t know if they will be alive for five seconds or 20 minutes.”
Sawed Sadat worked as a translator for the U.S. Army and for the U.S. Embassy before emigrating to Sacramento.
He remembers the Taliban regime before Americans entered Afghanistan.
“They will do anything possible in their hand to suppress the Afghan people,” Sadat said.
Sadat believes that a strict theocracy would end the freedoms that were gained over the past 20 years.
“They would come up to you and ask why you didn’t go to mosque for prayer and beat you up and put you in the prison,” Sadat told FOX40.
Sadat also fears for the safety of friends and family stuck in Afghanistan.
For now, many feel there is no light at the end of a dark tunnel.
“I’m not sure when this nightmare will be over and it seems not … sorry,” Shafi said before breaking down in tears.
Many of the Afghan transplants to the Sacramento area told FOX40 they feel that American troops were pulled out too quickly with negotiated conditions.