The Foreign Service Journal, March 2024

42 MARCH 2024 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL he would walk home. … He went to his neighbor and said, “I don’t know where my family is.” … The explosion, of course, that he heard was the Abbey Gate explosion. The neighbor got hold of somebody in the AfghanEvac Coalition, who then called the liaison person, March Bishop, to say, “There’s this little boy who lost his family, and maybe that family is in the United States, and here’s his name.” So we were able to find the family at a base in Indiana. Our colleagues went to the family to say, Hamid says that he’s in Kabul and that you’re his family. And they said, “What?! … We thought he was killed in the explosion.” The people talking to them said, “Do you have any evidence that this boy is your son?” Because there was a lot of concern about trafficking and that kind of thing. And they said, “Yes, we have his passport.” And they did, so they gave the passport to my colleagues on the base, who got the passport out to Doha for us, and we made arrangements for the little boy to be linked up with an Afghan family that were family members of an American citizen. Or I think the man himself, the American citizen, was there. And we linked Hamid up with him and had the Qataris take his passport in on the Qatar Air flight to Kabul so that he could show the Taliban—because the Taliban insisted everybody had a passport—that he had a passport, and eventually got him on a plane. And we saw pictures of little Hamid with his American citizen escort and got him to Doha. Then got him on a plane to Dulles Airport. In the meantime, we got his family to Dulles, as well, and then my colleague, March, who was the one who had orchestrated this whole thing, which took weeks and weeks. … March went out to the airport to greet little Hamid when he came in, to see him reunited with his parents. n Every step of the way, we had in mind that we’re dealing with the lives of human beings who are potentially truly in danger. —Beth Jones