DOHA: A three-year-old Afghan boy, separated from his family while trying to flee Kabul, has been reunited with his father in Canada after spending a couple of weeks in Qatar.
According to a report in Toronto newspaper The Globe and Mail, Ali (name changed to protect the child’s family), was airlifted out of the Afghan capital with other refugees on 28 August to Doha.
He was stranded alone for more than two weeks at an orphanage in Qatar after narrowly escaping a suicide bombing at Kabul’s airport that killed at least 169 Afghan people and 13 US soldiers. He got separated from his mother and siblings during the explosion and ensuing chaos at the airport.
However, the child would never have been evacuated were it not for a 17-year-old who moved him away from the chaos during the airport explosion, the newspaper said, citing a statement from Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The boy, on seeing a child among the mass panic and crowds, acted heroically under difficult circumstances and decided to bear responsibility for the child, despite being a minor himself, the ministry said.
“Ali was our special guest for the past few weeks after he was separated from his mother during the Kabul airport explosion. Working with the Canada Embassy, we identified his father and they’ve been reunited. Best of luck Ali, we will all miss you here, we hope you come back to 2 visit,” Assistant Foreign Minister and Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs H E Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater said in a tweet.
She also thanked Dreama (Orphan Care Centre) for its care.
Ali travelled on a 14-hour flight from Doha to Toronto on Monday where he was received by his father, who had not seen him for two years.
The father, who ran a dried fruit business in Afghanistan before travelling to Canada two years ago, had been trying to find out what happened to his son after the child was separated from his family. After embracing his child, he relayed through an interpreter that he had no words to convey his joy