BusinessSan Diego enterprise proprietor evacuated from Afghanistan with Congressman...

San Diego enterprise proprietor evacuated from Afghanistan with Congressman Issa’s assist


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As Prince Wafa, an American citizen and resident of the San Diego space, waited together with his spouse in Afghanistan this summer season, they couldn’t sleep.

They have been operating out of cash. They anxious about their future.

Wafa, a former translator for the U.S. Military, had come to San Diego in 2014 and have become a U.S. citizen in 2019. The proprietor and supervisor of comfort shops, he had gone again to Afghanistan in July to attend together with his spouse whereas her spousal visa processed.

On Aug. 31, the U.S. ended a two-decade-long battle within the area, withdrawing all army assist and leaving Wafa and his spouse, and tons of of Americans stranded within the nation.

“We couldn’t sleep at night time. We have been terrified,” Wafa mentioned. “We needed to eat however cash was operating out. There have been no banks to ship cash. Quite a lot of issues have been including to the issue.

“We didn’t know what our future can be, what would occur to us.”

With the assistance of Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican who represents the fiftieth Congressional District, the couple lastly returned Wednesday to San Diego.

Wafa mentioned Friday that he’s in a position to calm down for the primary time in months.

“I don’t know the way I really feel — relaxed I assume. Recent,” the 30-year-old mentioned. “I’m relaxed, however the different a part of me can’t relaxation figuring out there are extra folks like me who’re nonetheless in Afghanistan.”

Issa’s communications director, Jonathan Wilcox, mentioned the congressman and his workers labored with State Division officers on a close to each day foundation to facilitate Wafa’s return and to expedite his spouse’s visa course of. They have been in a position to get each Wafa and his spouse to Qatar in late October.

Issa in a press assertion Wednesday criticized President Joe Biden for the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan.

“This one was private. My staff and I labored for months to make sure the protected return of Prince Wafa and his spouse, and we have been amazed by his braveness and dedication,” Issa’s mentioned. “His betrayal by President Biden and the just about limitless delays by this Administration have been useless and shameful. He wasn’t the primary American left behind and we’re decided that he received’t be the final to return dwelling.”

Mafa requested that his spouse’s identify not be used to guard her household who nonetheless reside within the Taliban-controlled nation.

The departure of army assist within the space on Aug. 31 brought on chaos seen the world over, with video and pictures displaying males, ladies and kids crowding the airports and operating after planes as they left the nation.

Wafa mentioned the U.S. State Division instructed him on the time to journey to the airport with their citizenship documentation to get out safely.

“That was a joke,” he mentioned. “There was no means you would even get near the gates. The strains have been miles lengthy. And the way may it’s protected to indicate our citizenship paperwork to the folks we’ve been combating with for years?”

So Wafa mentioned he and his spouse made calls, waited, made extra calls and waited some extra. He refused to depart with out his spouse.

By October, Wafa wrote a letter to President Joe Biden saying that he and his spouse have been nonetheless unable to obtain help from the U.S. State Division.

“We have been simply as stunned as you when this nation fell to Taliban management so shortly and we couldn’t get to HKIA (Hong Kong Worldwide Airport) earlier than makes an attempt at evacuation grew to become life threatening,” Wafa mentioned within the letter. “Since then, now we have waited patiently for help from the Division of State as directed, to no avail.”

Wafa mentioned he reached out to Congressman Issa by the Afghanistan Evacuation Help portal situated on the congressman’s web site, not anticipating something would come of it.

The congressman known as him personally.

“He known as and instructed me he wouldn’t cease combating and that he was working exhausting to get me dwelling,” Wafa recalled. “And he did.”

Wafa and his spouse have been ultimately placed on a business flight to Qatar in October, the place they waited for her Visa to course of.

Issa, who has been important of how the Biden administration dealt with the withdrawal of army assist, vowed to help every other Individuals nonetheless stranded within the area.

“Prince Wafa’s story is not going to go unnoticed,” Issa mentioned. “No American ought to should undergo what he endured, and this must also present a long-lasting lesson: Immediately, we have fun the return of a courageous American. However there’s rather more work to do, and lots of extra Individuals to deliver dwelling.”

Based on the U.S. State Division, the workplace has instantly assisted within the departure of 479 Americans and 450 lawful everlasting residents from Afghanistan.

A division spokesperson mentioned the official variety of these left behind fluctuates every day, as folks change their minds about leaving, or as some U.S. residents select to return, since many have relations in Afghanistan they don’t wish to go away behind.

As of Nov. 10, the State Division confirmed that each one U.S. residents who’ve requested help from the federal government to depart Afghanistan and have the required journey paperwork have been provided a chance to take action.

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