MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota man stuck in Afghanistan is looking for help to get home.
Qais was granted U.S. citizenship in 2020 after working with troops for seven years in his home country of Afghanistan.
He went back to visit family and didn’t anticipate the country falling into the hands of the Taliban.
The evacuation of American citizens began on Aug. 15, and the next day, he and his wife welcomed a baby into the family.
Qais says he tried desperately to get to the airport in Kabul to get his family to safety.
“I was trying to make them understand that I got an email from the U.S. Embassy that all U.S. citizens needs to be in the airport with their family members because if your wife don’t have a visa or green card stuff you can take her with your U.S. passport,” Qais said.
Qais says his credentials meant nothing to Taliban fighters.
“They hit me like several times like three, four, five times they beat me. They had wood and they had guns like AK-47s so I got beat like several times,” Qais said.
Qais kept trying. He even got close enough to American troops to show them his passport.
“One of them just called me like sir we cannot help you need to go to the AB gate so I told them like if I go to the AB gate is far away from me, a day before there was a bomb blast at the AB gate,” said Qais.
Thirteen Americans service members died in that blast.
Qais says after that tragedy he became paralyzed with fear.
For more than a month, Sarah Lippert has been working to get her coworker out of Afghanistan.
“I am scared for his safety I am afraid for his family,” Lippert said.
Sarah Lippert says she’s gotten no response from her request for help.
Qais says he reached out to Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Smith and did exactly what they told him to.
“I did all the requirements whatever they asked me – documents and other stuff – I already sent it to them and I haven’t heard anything yet,” Qais said.
He said as each day passes it gets more difficult to live under Taliban rule.
“Working with the U.S. Army against these people for seven years and then sitting in their environment and their government is really tough,” Qais said. “It’s very scary to be honest.”
“I hope our administration hears his story. I hope people who are in power to bring him home hear this and know he is important and it’s important to continue to bring our U.S. citizens home,” Lippert said.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s office reached out to Qais’ friends late Thursday afternoon to tell them they’re hopeful he will be evacuated soon because he is a U.S. citizen.