Baby Lost in Chaos of Afghanistan Evacuation Found


Image courtesy of Omar Haidari via Reuters

An Afghan civilian hands over 2-month old Sohail Ahmadi to an American soldier during the evacuation at the Kabul airport.

Luis Ortiz, A & E Editor

Photos of a baby being handed over to an American soldier gained international attention back in August when the chaotic evacuation of American personnel from Afghanistan was occurring. In the aftermath of the events, the baby was not heard of again for the next five months. 

It was not until January 2022 when it was reported that the baby, Sohail Ahmadi, had been found at the international airport in the capital city of Kabul. It was said that a local taxi driver located the missing infant, who at the time of his disappearance on August 19 was just two months old. In November of last year, the father of the child spoke to Reuters for the first time about his desperation on that day. He and the rest of the family managed to catch a flight to the state of Texas during the Taliban siege and they currently reside in Michigan. Ahmadi feared that his son would be crushed in the crowd that was rushing to the airport gates. Additionally, he hopes that he is able to reunite with his son at their new home in the near future. 

Safi, the taxi driver who found the infant, was dropping off his brother at the airport during the evacuation when he found baby Ahmandi on the ground. After unsuccessfully locating the parents of the child, Safi made the decision of raising Ahmadi for the next 5 months as if he were his own son.

“I am keeping this baby. If his family is found, I will give him to them. If not, I will raise him myself” Safi said in an exclusive interview with Reuters in November about the moment he decided to take him in.

The baby’s birth family then turned to the Red Cross for help, which assists all families who are separated during international crises. 

The family requested Safi to hand Ahmandi over to relatives who remain in Afghanistan. Safi at first refused, but after the local Taliban police stepped in, the baby is now with his family as of January 8. 

This highlights the struggle that many Afghan families are still going through months after the events occurred. With countries around the world distancing themselves from the war-torn country and international organizations overloaded with cases stemming from crises elsewhere, many families like the Ahmadi family are struggling to reunify and are forced to deal with the trauma of being far apart from their loved ones.