Afghan Americans in Southern California express concern amid Taliban takeover overseas

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (KABC) -- In Southern California, many Afghan immigrants have watched the events unfolding overseas with a familiar sense of dread.

Jamila Fazel fled Afghanistan 38 years ago with her husband, in fear for their lives. Now three decades later, she's watching again the country she once called home unravel in chaos as Taliban fighters regain their foothold on the government.

"It is hard to trust them. They don't believe in humanity, they don't believe in women's rights," said Fazel.

Fazel is a founding member of the Afghan Club in Rancho Cucamonga, which brings together members of the Afghan community. On Wednesday, the group staged a protest to bring attention to the plight of Afghanistan under the Taliban.

"Every where they go, they destroy and kill people. They promise people peace, human rights, this and that, but I don't believe them," said Anabi Amani.

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Chaos continues in Afghanistan as the Biden administration faces backlash over the catastrophe.

"I am very much concerned about women's rights and the children they will not allow... to go to school," said Nasima Kazimi.

For Kazimi, images of children fleeing the country on transport planes and at the Kabul Airport is a reminder of her own escape in 1983 under similar circumstances.

She hopes those children will find the safety she found in her new home.

"You can be who you want to be in this country, like me. I didn't even know any English... I went to school here. So, you have to work hard... it is a land of opportunity," said Kazimi.

The Afghan Club says they are prepared to help the refugees resettle should they arrive in the Inland Empire.

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The Taliban's swift move to control Afghanistan has plunged the country into chaos with many fearing for their lives and trying to escape.

On Friday, President Joe Biden pledged firmly to bring all Americans home from Afghanistan - and Afghans who aided the war effort, too.

"We will get you home," Biden promised Americans who were still in Afghanistan days after the Taliban retook control of Kabul, ending a two-decade war.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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