LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Omar Niazi is from Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, where Taliban forces have now forced government officials out and taken hold.
“Women were given their rights. People would go to school and then thinking about that and then thinking seeing Afghanistan today is disturbing for me,” Niazi said.
Niazi has lived in Lansing since 2016.
Most of his family lives in the United States, but he still has friends and family in Afghanistan.
“Actually, they called me this morning they were crying. People the past two days have not been to their jobs,” Niazi said.
The Taliban said in the coming days they’ll hold talks around forming an “open, inclusive Islamic government.”
However, Niazi said he’s skeptical.
“Time will see if they have changed or if they haven’t changed. I’m in a position to say we have to wait but also we can’t wait. The more we wait the more stronger they will get,” Niazi said.
Jamil Hanifi is a retired MSU professor, and he too is from Afghanistan.
Hanifi left that country back in 1956 and came to mid-Michigan to study police administration at Michigan State University.
“I am pained not only for the place of my birth. My physical birth but also for my cultural birth,” he said.
Hanifi said he thinks Americans should reflect on how Afghanistan got to this point.
“What have we done? Not only from 9/11 on, but before that from 1948 on we’ve been there almost 70-75 years,” Hanifi said.
Niazi said it’s a dark time for his country, but he hopes Afghans continue to fight for their values and that the international community refuses to recognize the Taliban regime.
“I think as much as it feels un-hopeful they should still have some hope,” Niazi said.
In a speech, President Joe Biden said he stands behind his decision to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan, but also that this did unfold more quickly than anticipated.