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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The green card that Atifa and her brother used to get back into the U.S. yesterday also put their lives at risk back in Kabul, when the Taliban searched door to door for Americans.

Driving the news: Axios interviewed the 21-year-old and her 18-year-old sibling, who went by his last name, Ahmadi, at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Va. They gave a first-hand account of the journey from Afghanistan to the U.S. — a terrifying, stressful, exhausting trip lasting nine days.

Atifa and Ahmadi had been in Afghanistan visiting family for the month and a half preceding the collapse of the government. It took them three days to make it into the Kabul airport.

  • In the safety of a convention center outside the nation's capital, they were surrounded by over 100 others who'd fled Afghanistan.
  • Among them were children playing with hula hoops, mothers in head scarves holding kids, young men in traditional clothes.

After boarding a flight out of Kabul, the siblings landed at the Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar, where they stayed for two nights.

  • There was little food, and none that Afghans are used to eating.
  • Their next stop was Germany. After five days, they boarded a 12-hour flight to the U.S.

The expo center was filled with the echoes of dozens of other Afghans who emerged from behind dividers where they had been processed with wristbands signaling their different visa statuses.

  • Hundreds of green cots sat covered with Red Cross blankets, divided by curtains and labeled with hand-written signs designating sections for single women or families — in English and Dari.
  • A curtained area was set aside for prayer.

Outside, a U.S. citizen who lives in New York told Axios' Erin Doherty she was confused about why she landed in Virginia.

  • Other people waited for relatives — or searched for a lost bag.

Go deeper

Sep 20, 2021 - World

Biggest evacuation flight under Taliban rule departs Kabul for Doha

A Qatar Airways aircraft taxis before taking off from Kabul's international airport on Sept. 9. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images

A flight carrying more than 230 passengers, including Afghans, Americans and other international civilians departed from Kabul's airport for Qatar's capital, Doha, Sunday, Qatari official Lolwah Al-Khater announced.

Why it matters: A Qatari official told Reuters 236 passengers were on the plane — making it the biggest evacuation flight since the full U.S. military pullout on Aug. 31. It's the fourth airlift by Qatar Airways from Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

Go deeper: Afghan refugees headed to 46 states

Sep 19, 2021 - World

U.S. drone strike victims' families in Afghanistan seek compensation

A relative of Ezmarai Ahmadi, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike, looks at the wreckage of a vehicle Saturday that was damaged in last month's strike in the Kwaja Burga neighbourhood of Kabul. Photo: Hoshang Hashimi AFP via Getty Images

Relatives of 10 Afghans killed by a U.S. drone strike in Kabul last month said Saturday they want to see punishment and compensation over the deaths.

Driving the news: The relatives said it's "good news" that the U.S. had "officially admitted" that "they had attacked innocents" in the Aug. 29 strike that killed Zamarai Ahmadi, an aid worker with a U.S.-based group, and nine family members, but they still need "justice," per AFP.

Amazon ordered to redo union vote in Alabama

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

A U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) official on Monday called for a re-vote in a union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.

Why it matters: The move could set the stage for another organizing drive at the e-commerce giant, which has, so far, fought off unionizing efforts in the U.S.

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