Afghan journalist on his escape from Kabul and waiting to come to Canada
TORONTO / DOHA – An Afghan journalist, who is now in Qatar, recounts his escape from Afghanistan and his expectations for his life once he reunites with his family in Canada.
Akbar Shinwari told CTV National News he has been in an evacuation center in Qatar’s capital Doha for a month after being rescued by the Qatari ambassador on the ground in Afghanistan.
“He was the one helping everyone else, including me,” Shinwari explained.
He said the Qatari ambassador helped rescue around 150 members of the journalist community in Kabul, along with their families, by taking them to the airport in a bus convoy.
“He wore local clothes with a local hat and spoke to the Taliban at several checkpoints,” Shinwari said.
He said the journey took around 45 minutes, but he started to relax once they reached the former green zone of Kabul.
Shinwari said he called the ambassador an “angel of life” for helping them escape.
“He was the one who saved our lives with not only my life, the life of our families and everyone else because the security was not there. If he was not leading the convoy… forget to enter. airport, ”Shinwari said.
Shinwari, who previously worked for the Canadian government and the Canadian Press, is waiting in Qatar with his family to come to Canada so that they can be with their loved ones.
“My aunt is there and I also have some of my media friends there, and they are very happy. They are treated very well. I can’t wait to travel there,” he said. declared.
However, Shinwari said it was difficult to leave his life in Afghanistan behind and watch the country deteriorate under the Taliban.
“It was really painful because all of those accomplishments that we’ve had over the past 20 years are gone,” he said. “The education system, the bank, progress, women’s rights, all the rights we had.”
Shinwari said he understands that the transition to a new life in Canada will have its challenges, but hopes there will be opportunities for all Afghans coming to the country.
He added that he was very anxious to send his daughters back to school, who were previously studying at Kabul University.
“They will have a better future and maybe in the future they will be very useful for Canada and also for Afghanistan,” Shinwari said.
With files from Brooklyn Neustaeter of CTVNews.ca