Afghans in America are apprehensively watching as the Taliban takes control of their home country. News4 spoke to two cousins in the D.C. area who say they're worried about their loved ones.
Fawzia Etemadi and Haimid Naweed fled Afghanistan in 1979 after Russia invaded. They went to Germany and then became U.S. citizens.
The cousins said they have family and friends still in Afghanistan who they're having trouble reaching, and are concerned about what the Taliban will do to them.
Like many around the world, they watched in shock as the Taliban rapidly took hold of the country in recent days.
"I don't know what's going on. I am speechless," Etemadi said.
When their calls to loved ones back home finally managed to get through, they heard "people who were crying. They don't know what to do," Etemadi said.
One of Etemadi's greatest fears is for the safety of Afghan women. In the past, the militants now in control of her home country have murdered women. Those who were spared were stripped of their rights.
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"Taliban: If you're a Muslim, if you're a human being, please don't harm your mothers, your sisters, your daughters," she said.
"We want a free Afghanistan, a sovereign Afghanistan, a progressive Afghanistan and a peaceful Afghanistan," Naweed said.
Now, they wait by the phone for news, cautiously hoping their loved ones are OK as the unpredictable reign of the Taliban now controls their home country.