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'I don't know what to do': Casey County family stranded in Afghanistan calls for government aid

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Posted at 7:23 PM, Oct 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 19:23:47-04

CASEY COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Casey County man is calling for the U.S. government to step in and help his family after being left stranded in Afghanistan for months.

Abdul Samad was given a fresh start in America after losing both hands and his left eye in a landmine explosion when he was a teenager growing up in Afghanistan. He was taken in by Galilean Children’s Home founders Jerry and Sandy Tucker in Kentucky.

Samad built his life in Liberty, Ky. where he works and lives with his wife and four children.

But, the Samad family have not seen their Casey County home in nearly two months.

Samad said the family of six and his mother-in-law were visiting a sick relative in Afghanistan when the U.S. withdrew troops from the country on Aug. 30.

“I’m really confused because I don’t know what to do because the airport is closed and the border with Pakistan is closed. I don’t know how to get out,” Samad said.

Hundreds of American citizens were stranded in Afghanistan following the U.S. evacuation in Aug. and the Taliban’s rise to power in its aftermath.

Samad, his wife, and his children are all U.S. citizens. His mother-in-law is a green cardholder.

Samad said he was working with the American embassy to get help leaving, but has not heard back in nearly two weeks.

The U.S. Department of State is directing U.S. citizens in Afghanistan seeking U.S. government assistance to depart to complete a Repatriation Assistance Request form or email AfghanistanACS@state.gov with their name, date of birth, nationality, U.S. Passport number, and contact information.

Samad said he has submitted the form twice.

“We are in a very helpless situation because we cannot really say much, and we cannot do much unless we find a way to get out safely,” Samad said.

Samad said his family is constantly on the move. He is worried the Taliban will target his loved ones because they are American.

“I’ve been moving with family members from place to place to stay with them, so people will not notice we are from the United States,” Samad said. “That’s why I’m ignoring conversations with people for whatever reason. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Samad said his family’s safety and fate are at the mercy of others currently.

“I’m hoping the U.S. government, if there’s anything they can do, they can help get us out,” he said.

Samad said they are also asking the American government to find a way to help his mother-in-law’s teenage children who remain in Afghanistan.

“We’re just hoping for the best,” Samad said.