A REFUGEE family living in Bromsgrove has spoken for the first time after escaping from the Taliban.

Parwiz Amiri had worked as a nurse practitioner for the British Army for 13 years, so when the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan two years ago, he was immediately on the death list.

Parwiz, his wife, and young daughter, joined the desperate, chaotic panic at Kabul Airport as they tried to flee.

He said he saw a crush at the airport and the Taliban "shooting and killing" people. 

Eventually, his wife Fawzia went back home to Kabul because the situation at the airport was too dangerous. But Parwiz and his daughter Behishta, then just four years old, stayed.

He had the correct paperwork and after sleeping rough overnight, was eventually allowed through the gate. It was their first step to freedom.

They both witnessed the heart-breaking scenes that UK audiences saw on TV news, with Afghans taking desperate risks because they faced certain death if caught by the Taliban.

“Some people at the backside of the aeroplane, they’re holding on, very difficult, very danger, he said.

"The airplane’s coming to the take-off and then we see the two guys fall down and they dead.”

Eventually Parwiz, aged 35, and his daughter were allowed onto a freedom flight, but the journey to the airport was too dangerous and a devastated Fawzia was left behind. 

“I was very happy my husband is out from Afghanistan with my daughter, but very sad that I’m not allowed to go,” Fawzia said, with Parwiz translating.

“I Pray for god, please help me. I’m feeling I’m dead, I’m not alive because I’m not with my family.”

In the UK, Parwiz received intensive support from Bromsgrove & Redditch Welcome Refugees (BRWR).

As well as helping him and his daughter navigate their first days of life in the UK, the group set about rescuing Fawzia, quickly raising £2000 to pay for her perilous escape to Pakistan from where the British authorities eventually promised to bring her to Bromsgrove.

With the Taliban searching for Parwiz, Fawzia had to live in hiding and regularly moved house.

Meanwhile gunmen were also hunting the husband of Fawzia’s sister’s. He’d worked in security for the previous regime, and was also in hiding.

It was nine months before Fawzia was finally reunited with her husband and daughter.

Finally, she risked escape on a plane to Pakistan by travelling incognito to evade the Taliban. She had a fake chaperone and wore a hijab to hide her face.

On the second anniversary of the fall of Kabul, the Amiri family is confidently building a new life in Bromsgrove.

Parwiz works in a care home in the town, has won an award for his English studies and hopes to work as a hospital nurse.

His 43-year-old wife, a qualified nurse in Afghanistan, is studying English and hoping to find work in hair-dressing or cooking. And Behishta is now a talkative six-year-old schoolgirl.

But, as family members remain in hiding in Afghanistan, there’s a lasting legacy from the trauma of their previous lives.

“We have a lot of shock, a difficult shock,” Fawzia added.

“Because sometimes they come to my dreams and I wake up and all of my legs and my hands shaking.”

The family is grateful for the support of BRWR and for a life that is now safe and secure.