Exactly one year ago, on August 22, A.H. remained crouched in the crowd at the airport. His father, mother and younger siblings left for America. A.H. begins his long journey.

One year ago, in mid-August 2021, the world was shaken by a piece of news - the Taliban had captured Afghanistan's capital Kabul and President Ashraf Ghani had left the country.We remember the images of crowds of people at Kabul airport trying to board planes. Many managed to save themselves, many failed. Today, a year later, millions in Afghanistan are doomed to starve to death. In their desperation, more and more families in the country are literally selling their children. The country's health system is also collapsing. Financial aid to Afghanistan from the West has been crucial in recent years. However, since the return of the Taliban to power, this aid has dried up. The international community faces a dilemma. In order to be able to provide urgently needed humanitarian aid to the country, it must cooperate with the Taliban, which in practice means to a regime that drastically violates human rights, the rights of minorities, and especially the rights of women and girls.

A year later, after the Taliban's takeover of Kabul, alarming headlines continue to dominate the world's media. But behind every news story, behind every headline, there remain unknown tens of thousands of human lives that have no place in the headlines. These are stories of humanity and love but also fear and violence, stories of despair but also hope, stories - lived but untold.

This is also the case of fifteen-year-old boy A.H, with whom the Center for legal aid - Voice in Bulgaria has been working since the beginning of 2022. A year ago, after the Taliban overran Kabul, the US and other Western countries began evacuating their diplomatic staff and their families. One of them is the family of A.H., whose father is a longtime member of the U.S. military in Afghanistan.


"On August 15 last year, the Taliban took over the entire country. But a few days before that, the Taliban started taking over different cities. We had no contact with my father and no information about him. We were in a panic because rumours were reaching us that he might have been captured and arrested by the Taliban. The city where we lived was Jalalabad. One day, after they had taken over our town as well, our father called. He said that we had to leave the city immediately because the country had already been taken over. Our mother woke us up one night with my brother and sisters and said we should leave now. When we left it was a very tragic and emotional moment for us. We didn't know if we would ever be able to get out and make it to the airport in Kabul. It was hard to just leave our home in the middle of the night and with just the clothes on our backs leave for the airport not knowing what was waiting for us."

Exactly one year ago, on August 22, A.H. remained crouched in the crowd at the airport. His father, mother and younger siblings left for America. A.H. begins his long journey.


"My father was waiting for us at the gate for the plane. The US Air Force had set up a sort of corridor where everyone who was eligible could get to the gate. We were holding hands so we wouldn't get lost in the commotion. My younger brother and sister were the ones in front, then my mother and finally me. At one point a powerful wave rocked the whole crowd and I just dropped my mother's hand. They closed the gate, right behind my mother. I stayed in the crowd. The only thing I felt at that moment was that I was alone, so alone and unbearably sad!"

A.H. understands that his only chance is to flee illegally. And so begins his long journey. Trapped in the trunk of various cars for hours, along with others fleeing to save themselves, he crosses borders and countries illegally to reach Bulgaria, a country he has never even heard of. Border guards prevented him from entering the country, beat him and left him naked in the snow in freezing temperatures. A.H. has no choice but to keep trying and succeeding. He ends up in a refugee camp in Sofia, a month later he meets Diana Radoslavova from the CLA - Voice in Bulgaria and the story continues. Where has A.H. got to a year later, is his journey continuing and where to! Sad but inspiring - the full story of A.H.'s long journey, told by himself, is coming soon.