WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) — For many Afghan Americans, watching the Taliban take over from thousands of miles away is frustrating. Abdul Rashidi fled the country 40 years ago, but much of his family is still in Kabul.
Inside his Westminster restaurant, Afghan Kabob, Rashidi reminisced of the Afghanistan he once knew.READ MORE: 'I Wanted To Cry': Fort Collins Police K9's Life Saved Thanks To Longtime Local Couple
“We could go to the movies and there was no problem. We could go to the parks and there was no problem. Everybody was happy. When the Russians came, they destroyed the country, destroyed the culture and brought the war culture to Afghanistan,” said Rashidi.
Rashidi fled Afghanistan for his own safety in 1981, but he still has family in Kabul.
He’s been in daily communication with his sister.
“I’ve been talking to her every night to see if everything is OK,” said Rashidi.
“She said the Taliban entered Kabul and loudly said ‘We’re trying to keep you safe. Stay in your home. Keep your doors closed. Don’t let anyone in.’ They don’t go to work because the Taliban told them not to come for one or two days, until the situation gets under control.”READ MORE: All Lanes Of C-470 At Quebec Closed For Multi-Vehicle Crash
Rashidi is grateful his family is safe, fed and educated. He says his relatives and many citizens in Kabul are lying low until they know what order will be imposed. He says videos being shared of events in Kabul don’t tell the whole story. His sister tells him the streets are oddly quiet.
“The banks are closed. Government offices are closed. The markets are closed. There is a shortage of food and things. So hopefully the international community and will go and help the people of Afghanistan where it is the most needed,” said Rashidi.
Humanitarian help is what Rashidi says Afghanistan needs the most, with peace and food being the priority. He agrees with the decision to send troops home, but Rashidi hopes international support for his country doesn’t fade.
“The Taliban is the reality of Afghanistan. That is the reality and we have to work with the reality,” said Rashidi. “My wish for the United States is that we do not end our support for Afghanistan, do not let Afghanistan go back to the hands that damage the region.”
Rashidi said it’s unlikely he’ll be able to return to Afghanistan again.
In his family restaurant, 7,000 miles away, Afghanistan is always with him.
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“When you’re born somewhere, no matter who you become, your heart is always there. My heart is always in Afghanistan. I feel sorry for the people who are suffering,” said Rashidi.