Speed Reads

Little baby, big world

Baby handed over airport wall during Afghanistan withdrawal reunited with family

Baby Sohail Ahmadi, whose parents handed him to a member of the U.S. military during the chaos of last summer's evacuation from Afghanistan, was reunited with relatives in Kabul Saturday, Reuters reported.

Mirza Ali Ahmadi and his wife Suraya had passed their then-2-month-old son over the wall at Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 19, fearing that the baby would be crushed by the surging crowd. Although the couple later gained access to the airport and were evacuated to the U.S. — Mirza had worked as a security guard at the American embassy — they were unable to locate their son.

After Reuters published pictures of the baby in November, Sohail was found with 29-year-old taxi driver Hamid Safi, who had taken him home from the airport to raise as his own. Safi initially refused to return to the child, attempting to use Sohail to secure his own passage to the United States.

During the following seven weeks, Mirza's father-in-law Mohammad Qasem Razawi accused Safi of kidnapping, and Safi was briefly detained by Taliban police. Finally, though, Safi relented. Sohail was placed with his grandfather, who also lives in Kabul. Mriza and Suraya have already seen Sohail over video chat, and the grandfather plans to send the baby to the U.S. soon.

Tensions between Razawi and Safi also appear to have cooled. Razawi told Reuters that he could see Safi and his family were devastated to lose the baby they had been raising for months.

"Hamid and his wife were crying, I cried too, but assured them that you both are young, Allah will give you male child," Razawi said. "Not one, but several. I thanked both of them for saving the child from the airport."