For Cambodians who escaped the Khmer Rouge and Afghans who fled the Taliban, leaving home is just the beginning.
My mother called on Monday to ask if I was watching the news.
“It’s so scary,” she said, her voice specked with sadness. “All the Afghan people fleeing, running this way and that way. Everyone so desperate to escape. That was us.”
Kabul had fallen and the images that vibrated from my mother’s television screen thrust her backwards into the past. Even though it hurt to watch, she couldn’t look away: scenes of Afghans so desperate to escape the certain brutality of reinvigorated Taliban rulers that they clung to the landing gear of an American military plane, as hundreds of others raced down the runway, shalwar kameezes flapping in the draft as the plane took off, canting skyward away from war and the ruins of another bungled American nation-building project.
In full here.