A Kent pizza company boss has told how he slipped into Afghanistan last week to help his desperate family while thousands tried to flee the country in the other direction.
Abdullah Sayed flew via France to Turkey and then to Uzbekistan before entering Taliban-controlled Afghanistan on Saturday, August 28.
Abdullah, 28, felt he had no choice after his mother and five younger siblings between the ages of four and 14 called him in tears last week to tell him that his father and brother – who both worked for the previous regime – were arrested and not arrested. heard since.
But now he fears for his own life and that of his family as they hide in an outhouse in the city with no electricity or running water.
His mother has to beg from the neighbors for leftover food and drinking water while the family huddles on the floor in the cramped windowless space.
Kent pizza company boss Abdullah Sayed (pictured left) was called by his mother and five younger siblings, aged between four and 14, to tell him his father and brother had been arrested by the Taliban. Feeling he had no choice, he flew to Afghanistan to rescue them, but is now trapped
Abdullah Sayed fears for his own life and that of his family as they hide in an outhouse (shown in video footage provided to MailOnline) in the city with no electricity or running water
“We live in conditions that are not suitable for an animal,” he told MailOnline. “I can’t go out now because there are Taliban checkpoints everywhere and if they find me with a British passport, I’ll be a dead man.
“The Taliban have promised amnesty for foreigners, but there are many people who say they are not complying with it. We don’t know what to do.’
Eldest son Abdullah first left Afghanistan as a child migrant at age 14 and was placed with foster carers in Kent, where he did well at school and attended university.
He started his own successful pizzeria in the area a few years ago and had returned regularly to see his family since the Taliban takeover.
His former foster mother Sue said: ‘He has stayed with us for over a year, but we are still in close contact. He is a wonderful young man and this courageous effort to help his family is typical of him.
“When I lost my husband three years ago, he was as good to me as a rock. Now he’s in such a tough spot and the official advice just seems to be “go to the border and get out of the country”, but that’s so much easier said than done.
“I suspected he had left for Afghanistan when he didn’t answer his phone last week. I’m beside myself with worries.’
Abdullah Sayed (pictured with friends and family), flew via France to Turkey and then to Uzbekistan, before entering Taliban-controlled Afghanistan on Saturday, August 28
After making his way through the Panjshir Valley, north of Kabul, Abdullah arrived at his childhood home at 3 a.m. and his family gathered what they could carry and moved to their hideout.
Images Abdullah supplied to MailOnline show the inside of the dark outbuilding where he and his family reside, with stone walls and their belongings stacked on shelves.
“I’ve tried emailing the State Department, but all I get is an automatic response. The Taliban are looking for us and have nowhere to go. We haven’t seen daylight for five or six days.’
“I’m desperate for help to get us out of here. The British government has announced that people should go to another country, but we can’t because there are hundreds of Taliban checkpoints where they search every car and person.
“If they found me, it would be my last day on earth.
Pictured: A man on his bicycle passes a convoy of Taliban fighters patrolling a street in Kabul on September 2, 2021. Sayed told the MailOnline that ‘if [the Taliban] find me with a British passport, I’m a dead man.’
Hundreds of people, some with documents, gather at an evacuation checkpoint on the outskirts of Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 26
“If they hadn’t taken my father and brother and my family was safe I wouldn’t have come, but my sister, brothers and mother were crying and begging for help and they were afraid they would take my other brothers. and kill them.’
The Foreign Office’s automated emails to British citizens detained in Afghanistan read: ‘British citizens who remain in Afghanistan should carefully consider the risks of attempting to leave by any means. It adds that the State Department “cannot provide advice on security or travel to an alternative departure point.”
The message concludes: ‘Any travel options you pursue are at your own risk. All travel through Afghanistan is extremely dangerous and border crossings may not be open.’
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “The UK and international partners are all committed to ensuring that our citizens, nationals and residents, employees, Afghans who have worked with us and those at risk can continue to travel freely.” to destinations outside Afghanistan. It has been clear to us that the Taliban must provide safe passage for those who want to leave.”
All names have been changed for security reasons.