Eamonn Holmes delivers touching message to Afghan refugee shot by Taliban ‘Welcome’

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford spoke about the current scenes coming out of Kabul, Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover on Thursday’s This Morning. The ITV presenters welcomed refugee Farid Ahmad Rahmani, where he spoke about how he had recently managed to escape the Afghan capital and the danger he faced at the hands of the Taliban. 

After managing to flee the country with his wife and six children, Farid, who worked as an interpreter, said: “I continued my duty until August 15. I served for 17 years… on my way home from work, I was attacked by three Afghan men, they opened fire at me directly.”

Farid worked as an interpreter for the British Embassy and explained: “They fired about four to five times. One of the bullets went through my left hand, so I have injuries in my left hand.”

Explaining how he was only given 15 minutes to flee the country, he added: “I couldn’t stay in a single place, I had to move somewhere else.

“Then on August 17 I received a phone call, I was at my mum’s house. It was the MOD office, and they told me to get to the airport by seven o’clock.

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“I had to move back to our own house to get our documents, and I said bye-bye to my mum over the phone, and we all left,” he said,

“We grabbed our documents – birth certificates, marriage certificate, and passports… we only had 15 minutes, it was very short notice. My wife grabbed a bag, and we left the house.”

Describing the scenes at Camp Baron, the residential compound, before they got to the airport, Farid admitted: “We didn’t get there in time. Thousands of people were around the camp and waiting for their entrance to the gate, people were stampeding.

“I saw two women and a child die…. And one of my children became unconscious. I shouted to the British army that my daughter was dying, and one of them brought water and poured it on my daughter’s face and head.

“This was around 11pm, and she only began to recover around two o’clock in the morning,” he described. 

He added: “Once the gate was opened, the British army called on British passport holders, and I showed my documents and emails and explained I spent 14 hours waiting at the gate, but when we got into the camp, I felt like I’d saved myself and my family.”

Farid described the atmosphere once he and his family were on board the flight of the crumbling country, he said: “People are just worried about their future. The plane was over capacity – it was maybe 70-100 people, but there were around 150 in the plane.

“We were sitting on the floor [during the flight] huge amounts of people were waiting for the flight. The British army was working hard to take people.”

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Farid and his family are now living in the UK in a hotel, and Eamonn asked Farid how his children were feeling being out of the country and living in the hotel. 

“My family are very happy. My daughter prefers living here in a hotel room than Afghanistan. She said, ‘Pappa, I’m happy here, I don’t want to go back to Afghanistan’…” Farid described.

Farid, unfortunately, couldn’t get all of his family and friends out of the country and told Eamonn and Ruth: “I’m still worried about my friends and family.

“Even my friends that work for the British embassy are still stranded in Afghanistan. I am worried about them.

“The Taliban have started searching houses. I spoke to one of my friends this morning, and he said the Taliban went to his house and he was worried about his life. He helped to provide security for the UK, but he’s still not eligible to come to the UK.”

After listening to Farid tell him the story and describe the troubles that he and his family have gone through, a touched Eamonn said: “It’s such an awful, awful situation… Welcome to the UK, we’re glad you’re safe, and your new life starts here. 

“We hope it smiles kindly on you, thank you for your time today.”

Farid thanked the presenters and said: “I’m really grateful to the British government and to the British people, I will never forget their compassion and what they have done for us.”

This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV and ITV Hub.
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