Earlier this week, an image went viral showing Neha, the hopping girl, at the military airport in Melsbroek. The striking photo has now also received international resonance. “I’m really glad we’re back in Belgium,” Neha tells VRT NWS.
The family arrived in Belgium on Wednesday with one of the evacuation flights. Her father, Sayed Mujeeb Sadat, and his wife and four children were visiting relatives in Afghanistan. “We were visiting my in-laws”, Sayed Mujeen told VRT NWS.
Sayed Mujeeb and his family have been living in Belgium for about seven years, according to VRT. They went to Afghanistan on July 29 to visit his wife’s parents. “I knew that if the Taliban invaded Kabul, we would not be able to return. I rebooked the plane tickets so that we could fly back to Belgium on August 18. We never thought it would go so fast.”
The family tried several times to enter the airport in Kabul, but in vain: “There were more than 40,000 people at the airport. Normally they had to let us through because we have a Belgian passport, but we couldn’t get in. They showed me their weapons several times.”
Contact point with place and time
Via Belgium, they eventually got a contact point with a place and an hour, noted the news site. They were able to enter the airport by bus. “When we got to the airport, we were already half reassured,” says Sayed Mujeeb.
From Kabul, they flew to Islamabad in neighbouring Pakistan to fly to Belgium. “Friends and family have sent us the photo of Neha. They recognized our daughter,” says Sayed Mujeeb. “I hate Afghanistan”, Neha says. “I never want to go back there. I am really happy to be back in Belgium.”