Out of Afghanistan, Prince Wafa Shares the Miracle
When the U.S. government withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021 after 20 years of assisting the Aghan people to establish a democracy and fighting the Taliban, hundreds of thousands of our own were left behind. American citizens, lawful permanent residents, visa holders, U.S. service members, and Afghan colleagues who had fought beside us were left to fend for themselves in chaos and in fear for their lives as the Taliban violently took control of the country.
Prince Wafa, an Aghan-American citizen and San Diego business owner, and his wife, were among those who found themselves trapped in Afghanistan desperate for a way out.
In the summer of 2021, Prince returned to Afghanistan to help his wife. In 2018, the couple had applied for an immigration visa for his wife to join Prince in the United States, but due to a backlog in visa processing, she had been waiting for an interview and medical exam since 2019. As the Taliban began claiming territory and fearing for his wife’s safety, Prince returned to Afghanistan to find a way to get her to safety while waiting out the processing. Instead, when the U.S. troops and government left the country and it quickly fell to the Taliban, Prince found that he and his wife were now stuck behind enemy lines.
They were terrified. Prince dutifully called the numbers provided by the Embassy to no avail. The couple tried several times to go to Kabul airport to get on a U.S. State Department flight but were turned away. Money was running out and the security situation was becoming more precarious by the day. Back in the U.S., Prince’s business was faltering because of his absence. They needed help, and urgently.
That same August, after receiving countless calls from friends to help rescue family members and colleagues in similar situations, trapped in Afghanistan, Christine and Mark Antal and a team of special operations veterans, lawyers, and crisis managers responded to the crisis and would come to be known as Task Force Antal. Leveraging their depth of knowledge of the region and vast network, in the three days of chaos that ensued after the Taliban takeover, this volunteer task force facilitated the safe and lawful escape of hundreds of U.S. citizens, their family members, and Afghan colleagues.
When Task Force Antal learned of Prince’s story, we immediately jumped to action. coordinating a letter-writing campaign to Prince’s congressional representatives and to the President. We directly supported Prince and his wife on the ground in Afghanistan to keep them safe and helped resubmit the necessary documents to the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to get the visa cleared. We were in contact with them every step of the way to ensure they made it out safely.
Inspired by the work Task Force Antal was doing to save people in Afghanistan, Prince joined our team as a volunteer on the ground helping to source and deliver medication to families in need, escorting families through Taliban checkpoints, and watching over traveling children.
It was a miracle that Prince and his wife made it out of Afghanistan and back to the United States. Prince has shared the miracle with many others. As soon as he made it back to the U.S., he organized fundraisers and food drives. He has remained a valued member of our team and continues to help with the logistics of keeping families still in Afghanistan safe and healthy.
Watch the NBC interview with Prince and Afghan Evac Coalition organizer Shawn Vandiver in the Task Force Antal media stories.
Prince and his wife are among the 2000 people we have brought out of Afghanistan and kept safe from Taliban violence, but many others remain in danger. Task Force Antal currently cares for 1800 children, women, and men (1300 of which are immediate family members of U.S. citizens) in safehouses in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We keep these families safe, fed, healthy and supported.
The costs for providing safe housing, food, medicine, transportation, and doctor and application fees run in the range of $76,000 a month and rising) There is no government funding for this work, and the costs are covered solely by private donations from caring people like you. We will not stop fighting for families like Prince’s to get out of Afghanistan and to safety.
We leave no person behind.
Please answer this call with us.