A baby who was handed over to US soldiers over an Afghanistan airport wall amid the Taliban takeover of the country was finally reunited with his family over four months later, according to reports.
As thousands of people attempted to flee Afghanistan at the Kabul airport, a baby, identified as Sohail Ahmadi, was given to soldiers as the parents attempted to gain entrance into the airport on Aug. 19, according to Reuters. However, the parents waited around 30 minutes before getting into the airport. By the time they got in, they said their baby, who was 2-months-old at the time, could not be found and were told the baby may have been put on another flight.
Mirza Ali Ahmadi, the baby’s father and former security guard at the U.S. embassy, wound up at a military base in Texas alongside his wife, Suraya, and their four other children. They had no answers for where their baby boy was.
But after Reuters initially reported the story in November, the outlet said people in Kabul recognized the baby with 29-year-old taxi driver Hamid Safi.
Safi told Reuters he went to the airport to help his brother and family evacuate. While there, he found the baby, “alone and crying on the ground.” After unsuccessfully looking for his parents, Safii decided to keep the baby and “raise him myself.”
After being identified by Ahmadi, the baby’s grandfather said he traveled to Safi’s home to retrieve the baby in exchange for gifts. But Safi refused, insisting he wanted to be evacuated from Afghanistan with his family, according to Reuters.
After seven weeks of negotiations, and getting Taliban police involved, the Ahmadi family was finally able to reunite with the baby on Saturday, as the family gave Safi around 100,000 Afghani, equivalent to $950, for caring for the child.
After getting Sohali into his grandfather’s care, the parents were able to see their son via video chat on Saturday.
“There are celebrations, dance, singing,” Mohammad Qasem Razawi, the baby’s grandfather, told Reuters. “It is just like a wedding indeed.”
The Ahmadi family, which relocated to Michigan in December, are hoping their baby will be reunited with them soon in the U.S.
“We need to get the baby back to his mother and father. This is my only responsibility,” Razawi said. “My wish is that he should return to them.”
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