The Afghan father of a newborn baby pulled to safety by a Marine over a wall lined with barbed wire at Kabul airport says he met her for the first time that day, and the family have now settled in Arizona.
Hameed, whose full name has not been revealed, said he was inside the perimeter of Hamid Karzai International Airport when he saw his wife and newborn in the human crush, and begged the Marine to lift the baby over.
The first-time father said he was living at Kabul airport throughout August, serving as a linguist to assist US Marines with the evacuation effort and had missed the birth of his daughter 16 days earlier.
'The only thing I trusted is that he was a Marine and that my daughter would be fine,' Hameed, who'd worked with American troops for five years, told CBS.
He added that he now plans to give Liya, who is eight weeks old, the middle-name 'Marine' in honor of the troops who rescued her.
Hameed, pictured with wife Sadia and 8-week-old Liya, are now living in Phoenix, Arizona
Hameed said he planned to give his daughter the middle-name 'Marine'
Hameed said he helped a Marine, pictured, pull his daughter, Liya, over a fence on August 19 in order to secure his daughter's safety during the chaotic evacuation effort at Kabul airport
Hameed said while he was living at the airport, he unable to leave to meet his newborn daughter and could only talk to his wife, Sadia, over the phone as she explained that she had gone through a difficult delivery.
On August 19, he said he instructed Sadia to flee to the airport as reports came in about collogues and other American allies going missing as the Taliban completed its take over of Afghanistan.
'We got intel that people were getting killed, or going missing. By my affiliation [with the military], I knew my home would be next. It wasn't a matter of 'if,' but 'when,'' Hameed told CBS.
Sadia and Liya rushed to Kabul airport with all their belongings, but Hameed claimed that by the time they made it to the checkpoint near the airport, the Taliban had stolen all their identification and cash, leaving them with hundreds of others trying to get through the airport gate.
Hameed said that the Taliban had been brutal in its security around the airport, beating evacuees and using water cannons and flashbangs to control the crowd.
He said held his daughter for two minutes before handing her off to the Marine for safety as he turned his attention to getting his wife to safety. She had collapsed from exhaustion before reaching the airport gate. Hours later, Sadia was able to get though the gate and the family was reunited as they prepared for their evacuation flight
Hameed, his wife Sadia and their daughter Liya were evacuated from Kabul on a US flight in August
He said he spotted his daughter in the chaos from the other side of the fence and watched for hours as his family tried to make through the gate.
'I knew she'd never make it through. She'd be crushed to death, God forbid, or severely injured.'
Desperate, Hameed said he pleaded with a Marine standing on a vehicle along the barbed-wired fence to help get his baby through.
'He told me the only thing he could do was lift her over the barbed wire, but he said she'd be hurt. I told him I'll take the chance. I'd rather her get hurt than die,' he said.
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10050123/Newborn-baby-lifted-wall-Kabul-airport-living-Phoenix-family.html1400