Two weeks after escaping from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and after intricate negotiations involving authorities officers in a number of nations, a bunch of Afghans who labored for The New York Occasions, together with their households, have reached america.
The 124 individuals, together with reporters, drivers, cooks, interpreters and greater than 60 kids, arrived at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston on Tuesday, having taken a chartered flight from Mexico Metropolis, paid for by The Occasions. They have been accompanied on the flight by a staff from The Occasions, and met on the airport by representatives of the Catholic Charities resettlement program.
As of Thursday, all however one of many 124 individuals had been cleared to go away the airport by U.S. Customs and Border Safety officers. Farooq Jan Mangal, an Afghan journalist who had labored as a full-time stringer for The Occasions within the japanese a part of Afghanistan in Khost, remained in processing.
“We hope border officers rapidly resolve no matter points have delayed the processing of 1 remaining Occasions journalist, Farooq Jan Mangal, who for greater than a decade has reported bravely to assist hold the world knowledgeable about Afghanistan,” A.G. Sulzberger, the writer of The Occasions, mentioned in an announcement.
The 123 Afghans who have been allowed to enter the nation are to be positioned in furnished flats with the help of Catholic Charities, a nonprofit group that may also assist enroll the kids in faculties, ease entry to counseling and English classes and supply connections to potential jobs as soon as the members of the group are approved to work. There are 26 households in all, The Occasions mentioned.
“It’s onerous to overstate my admiration for the braveness and perseverance these colleagues and their households have proven by means of this troublesome journey,” Mr. Sulzberger mentioned in a observe to Occasions workers on Thursday. “They have been supported at each step by caring, tireless and at occasions really heroic colleagues from across the firm, who labored across the clock and moved mountains to get this group to security and are persevering with to do the identical for others nonetheless on the bottom.”
The Afghans have been evacuated from Kabul on Aug. 19, aided by the federal government of Qatar, which organized passage to Doha. From there, Mexican officers helped ease the journey to Mexico Metropolis, the place the group had stayed since final Wednesday whereas ready for The Occasions to get resettlement providers lined up in Houston.
Perceive the Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan
Who’re the Taliban? The Taliban arose in 1994 amid the turmoil that got here after the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989. They used brutal public punishments, together with floggings, amputations and mass executions, to implement their guidelines. Right here’s extra on their origin story and their document as rulers.
The individuals stayed in company flats in Mexico Metropolis, the place they accomplished medical checks and Covid-19 assessments and have been provided trauma counseling. Colleagues from The Occasions helped present them with clothes, diapers and even Kandahar raisins and different dried treats purchased from an Afghan market in Washington.
Mr. Sulzberger mentioned in an announcement that he was grateful for the assist of the American authorities for rapidly processing the group’s entry into the nation and in addition thanked the Qatari and Mexican governments for his or her assist in the rescue. The Occasions is aiding the group, which is coming into america by means of a humanitarian parole program, with immigration issues. Some Afghans who labored for The Occasions stay in transit, Mr. Sulzberger mentioned in an announcement.
“We’re doing all we are able to to get different former colleagues on the bottom to security and can proceed pushing the worldwide group to assist safeguard the numerous extra courageous Afghan journalists nonetheless in danger,” he mentioned.
Most journalists working for worldwide information organizations left Afghanistan in current weeks because the Taliban swept by means of the nation, retaking cities with beautiful pace, however many Afghan residents who labored alongside the shops have remained there. The Taliban have formally pledged to guard the information media, however they’ve harassed and overwhelmed journalists working for an Afghan tv station, in accordance with a current report from Reporters With out Borders.