When suicide bombers and gunmen massacred a crowd at Kabul’s airport, they cut off an escape route. Ali Rezai There was hope To him For a new life abroad, from afar Taliban And their suspicions of well-educated, middle-class people working with foreigners Afghanistan.
In chaos, Rezai After the flight, he could not reach the airport without flying To him. The 27-year-old had no choice but to take it His In the future His Hands of own skin. Like many other Afghans, He Decided to find another way and set out on foot thousands of kilometers to Europe, most of it.
After more than three months Rezai Odyssey has reached five countries To him High in the French-Italian Alps, where He Border guards are being pushed into knee-deep snow to escape, according to an Associated Press reporter.
Immigrants to Europe feared floods after fleeing Afghanistan Taliban Have come to power. And among the toothed alpine craigs filled with icicles, it quickly becomes clear why: only the hardest, most driven, and most resourceful exiles get this far.
In front of Rezai in Snowscape is the French border, unmarked but guarded round the clock by police who look through thermal binoculars for hot signatures. Rezai friend, another Afghan, was wounded in a suicide bombing To him To escape, had already tried – and failed – to reach France by this winter route.
So the Afghans move cautiously. They hear voices in the frozen silence, before Chill kills its battery, before looking at the map on Rezai’s phone and killing the jam-packed croissants bought in the border village of Clavier, Italy. If French guards are patrolling the border on foot, ski-bikes and vans, Italy is where they will be forced to return.
Afghans are now on track to overtake the Syrians as Europe’s leading asylum seeker in 2021. Internal EU reporting on immigration trends shows that as of November, more than 80,000 Afghans had applied for asylum. That’s a 96% increase over the same period last year, partly due to evacuations from Kabul airport.
RezaiFrom West Herat Afghanistan, Says He He flew to Kabul in search of a flight but returned twice after a suicide bombing and gun attack on the declining days of the airlift. He Believes He He would have been killed He Sat on Afghanistan Due to work He It was done with a foreign aid group.
Searched To him For the first Iran And Turkey, then by boat and on foot for 25 days in Greece. Then came the Italian and then the French border.
So He Emptied His Savings, borrowed money and left behind His Printing company, friends and comfortable life.
Rezai Statistics show that it will be easier to overcome than everyone else He Has been through But it is still easy for European holidaymakers He Suddenly meet in a cross ski race His Hilly road They zoom past, paying To him No worries, no need to worry about police patrols.
Feeling clear on the manicured slope, Rezai How much more intense is their carelessness than happiness? His It is necessary to return to the skin of the tree.
“Some people go down happy.” He Says, lungs are flying in thin air. “Other people are sad.”
Finding a deeper path in Europe, Rezai And other immigrants give hope to certain ones to follow. Their knowledge about obstacles, their contacts and their travel tips will come back Afghanistan. Immigrants attempting alpine crossing share phone maps guided by GPS markers.
Rezai The stronghold of France is targeting Bryancon. Syed and Mortaza, a cousin and both left Bryancon 16 hours ago. They also fled and traveled on the day Kabul fell Iran For turkey From there, they were trafficked to Italy in a cramped boat, a brutal six-day voyage that weakened their standing.
Caught at the French border, they were allowed to continue because they were minors. Seven adult Afghans who crossed with them were deported.
The Taliban The acquisition shattered Syed’s family. Her father and older brother worked as police officers. They have fled, and Syed thinks they are hiding in Pakistan. Without his salary, Syed and his mother had no income, so they left. She lives with a sister Iran. He is aiming for Germany.
“Maybe Dortmund, because I like the Dortmund football club,” he said. “We just want to escape.”
Others who left long ago Taliban Takeover says they don’t expect to return.
“It’s over for us now, for everyone in Europe,” said Abdul Almazai, 26. Afghanistan As a teenager. Returning to the French border with eight other Afghans, he planned to try again.
He said, ‘We have crossed many mountains. “I have to make my future.”
Aid workers are concerned that Afghans, accustomed to the risk of mountains and winter, are taking more risky routes through the snow than immigrants from warmer climates.
“They are confident, and sometimes it is not helpful to be convinced,” said Luca Guglielmato, a volunteer worker at the Italian side of the refugee camp who carries warm clothing and shoes for immigrants to cross.
As darkness fell, the battery became active RezaiThe phone dies. He And His Forge through the friendly snow.
Those who succeed in passing the first attempt are rare. Rezai That achievement was taken away and the next morning shone with pride He Breakfast at the Bryancon Shelter for Immigrants.
He A video of him walking in the snow was sent His Inside mother and brother Iran.
He Is His Destinations set in Germany. But He Hope to go home one day.
“I had a car. I had work, I had work.” He Said. “I had a good life.”