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Masooda Qazi held her 8-year-old son’s hand tightly as she frantically tried to convey to a group of Dutch soldiers that she was an employee of the U.S. Embassy and was promised transport out of Kabul as it fell to the Taliban last year.
The crowd around Qazi was full of people similarly desperate to escape, and it was growing agitated. People pushed forward outside a security gate near the airport, erasing any space to move. Her son Habib began to panic.
“I can’t breathe anymore,” he said to his father, Hamid ul Rahman Qazi, who had been holding the couple’s younger son — Hasib, 4 — above the crowd on his shoulders for hours.
“We need to go back,” Hamid told his wife.
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