The baby, Sohail Ahmadi, was just two months old when he disappeared on August 19 when thousands of people rushed out of Afghanistan when he fell into the hands of the Taliban.
Following an exclusive Reuters story published in November with his photos, the baby was located in Kabul, where a 29-year-old taxi driver named Hamid Safi had found him at the airport and brought him home to raise as his own.
Ahmadi told Reuters in early November that in desperation that day, he handed Sohail over the airport wall to a uniformed soldier who he believed to be an American, in full hope that he would soon reach the remaining five meters (15 feet). ) until the entrance to claim it.
Just then, the Taliban forces pushed the crowd back and it would be another half hour before Ahmadi, his wife and their four other children could enter.
But by then, the baby was nowhere to be found.
Ahmadi said he desperately searched for his son inside the airport and was told by officials that they had probably taken him out of the country separately and that he could meet them later.
The US Department of Defense, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday.
Alone at the airport
On the same day that Ahmadi and his family were separated from their baby, Safi slipped through the gates of the Kabul airport after taking her brother’s family, who also had to evacuate.
Safi said she found Sohail alone and crying on the ground. After he said he tried unsuccessfully to locate the baby’s parents inside, he decided to take him home to his wife and children. Safi has three daughters and said that her mother’s greatest wish before she died was for him to have a child.
At that point he decided: “I will keep this baby. If they find his family, I will give it to him. If not, I will raise him myself,” he told Reuters in an interview in late November.
After the Reuters story about the missing child came to light, some of Safi’s neighbors, who had noticed her return from the airport months earlier with a baby, recognized the photos and posted comments about her whereabouts in a translated version of the Article.
Razawi said he traveled two days and two nights to the capital with gifts, including a slaughtered sheep, several pounds of nuts and clothing, for Safi and her family.
Finally, after feeling they had run out of options, Razawi contacted the local Taliban police to report a kidnapping. Safi told Reuters he denied the allegations to police and said he was taking care of the baby, not abducting him.
The complaint was investigated and dismissed, and the local police commander told Reuters that he helped fix an agreement, which included an agreement signed with fingerprints by both parties. Razawi said the baby’s family eventually agreed to compensate Safi about 100,000 Afghans ($ 950) for the expenses she incurred to care for him for five months.
In the presence of the police, and amid many tears, the baby was finally returned to its relatives.
Razawi said Safi and her family were devastated to lose Sohail. “Hamid and his wife were crying, I cried too, but I assured them that they are both young, Allah will give them a male child. Not one, but several. I thanked them both for saving the child from the airport,” Razawi said. .
The baby’s parents told Reuters they were delighted that they were able to see the reunion with their own eyes via video chat.
“There are celebrations, dances, songs,” Razawi said. “It’s like a wedding in fact.”
“We need to give the baby back to his mother and father. This is my only responsibility,” said his grandfather. “My wish is that you return to them.”