scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The story of a lost baby being reunited with his family in Kabul offers a glimmer of positivity in a tumultuous time

At a time when Afghanistan grapples with a massive humanitarian crisis and an economic meltdown, in addition to the Covid pandemic, to know that a lost baby has been returned to his family is warming.

By: Editorial |
Updated: January 11, 2022 9:48:38 am
From a symbol of desperation, Sohail’s story has become one of hope

A pair of arms reaches upwards, passing a wailing baby over a barbed-wired wall into the hands of a US soldier. This photo was flashed around the world as a symbol of the desperate straits that the Afghan people found themselves in after the Taliban forces entered Kabul on August 15 last year. The arms belong to the infant’s father, Mirza Ali Ahmadi who was at the airport of the Afghan capital on August 19 with his family — along with hundreds of others — hoping to get evacuated. In the tumult, he handed baby Sohail across the airport wall to a soldier, fully expecting to be reunited with his son almost immediately on the other side. What followed, however, was a five-month long separation, with the baby finally being returned on January 8 to members of his family who had stayed on in Kabul. His parents and siblings, who managed to get evacuated to the US, watched the reunion on video.

Following the Taliban takeover of Kabul and the ensuing chaos, approximately 1,300 Afghan children were evacuated to the US without their parents or legal guardians, according to the US Department of Health and Services. Most are still waiting to be united with their families. Unlike in the case of Sohail, who was found in Kabul — where he had been “adopted” by a local taxi driver as his own son — the outlook for these children appears bleak due to the lack of a clear legal mechanism that can reunite them with families who are still stuck in Afghanistan.

This is why Sohail’s story is so rare and precious right now. At a time when Afghanistan grapples with a massive humanitarian crisis and an economic meltdown, in addition to the Covid pandemic, to know that a lost baby has been returned to his family is warming. From a symbol of desperation, Sohail’s story has become one of hope.

This editorial first appeared in the print edition on January 11, 2022 under the title ‘A small hope’.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Opinion News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement