Why are Afghans asking me for help on Twitter?

America has failed so completely that Afghans are asking strangers online for help

Thomas Brown


Shaheeb contacted me two months ago on Twitter. I don’t know Shaheeb, I’ve never met him, and I don’t really know if he is who he says he is.

He says he is an Afghan from the Sharana district in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province. He said that he worked with a Logistics Task Force at a US Army Forward Operating Base (FOB) not far from the Pakistani border.

He also told me we left him behind.

Shaheeb isn’t his real name and he isn’t in Sharana anymore. He was in Kabul when he contacted me in September. “I move From Paktika,” he said, “they know me every one there. [sic]” He has since moved around many more times.

“I have to change my location every day due to fear.”

Shaheeb told me he is scared. He has three children, two boys and a girl, that he and his wife are hiding with in whichever city they can to keep ahead of the Taliban. “They taliban search for us Because we worked for U.S army. [sic]” He sent me pictures of his family but asked me not to share them.

The “situation is going worse day by day,” Shaheeb said. Even if he wasn’t scared of being killed, there are no jobs, no school, no security. His children need food, he needs work. “What will my children do?”

Shaheeb contacted me because he knew an American serviceman by the same name. He had filed the Special Immigrant Visa request forms months ago but “i need tbe high rink man to out me from Afghanistan. [sic]” He needs to be at high risk. “i know the process will take more time.” He was a labor supervisor, he told me, and helped install the FOB fence lines. He wasn’t an interpreter, so Shaheeb is, according to somebody not running for their and their family’s lives from a murderous 12th century death cult, not at high risk.

In the meantime, he is direct messaging a total stranger 4000 miles away for help. For his family, Shaheeb is trying to be stoic. And for some reason, he still believes in us. I told him I’m sorry he was left behind. Sorry that my country failed his country, and him personally, in such a profound way. His reply shamed me.

No problem bro i still proud of you and your country