Chicago business owner who came from Kabul worried for his family in Afghanistan
CHICAGO – On Monday night, FOX 32 spoke with a store owner who moved to Chicago from Kabul, Afghanistan after 9/11. He said his emotions right now are a mix of shock, confusion and fear.
“Right now, everybody’s confused,” said Fawad, who runs an Afghani market on West Devon Avenue. “[My family and friends] don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. We talk to them. They say the situation is not that good.”
Fawad says he’s concerned for his family back in Afghanistan, a number of whom have lost all cellphone connection in recent days.
“I’m here and I’m scared. This is very dangerous and I hope things get better,” he said.
Fawad said when U.S. troops occupied his home country, things were, for the most part, peaceful and safe. He said he thought the US-trained Afghan Army would be strong and never thought the Taliban would assume control of the entire country this quickly.
“The way [the army] left it back to them, to the Taliban, when they took it over, it’s kind of confusing. How could this be possible?” Fawad said.
DePaul University history professor Tom Mockaitis says the writing was on the wall for a swift Taliban takeover, given the country’s shaky, disjointed political leadership.
“Who is going to die for that kind of regime? Obviously not many, and that’s why the whole thing collapsed as precipitously as it did,” Mockaitis said.
“Absolutely everybody’s shocked. Everybody’s scared,” Fawad said.
Mockaitis also said that while the Afghan Army may have stood at 300,000 troops on paper, in reality it was probably only about 50,000.