Minnesota family nervously awaits mother's return from Afghanistan
(FOX 9) - As chaos and turmoil follow the U.S. exit in Afghanistan, a Minnesota mother visiting family is among the people stuck in the country.
She extended her stay this summer, not knowing the crisis ahead. Now, her family is anxiously awaiting her return.
As an artist, Amina Baha has paintings of Afghan culture on her wall. But her thoughts are on the current situation in her home country.
"I am personally feeling like a rollercoaster [of emotions]," said Baha.
Baha's family moved to Minnesota from Kabul when she was six years old, but they go back to visit relatives every year.
Her mother traveled to Kabul in May to attend a couple of weddings and extended her return from the end of July to September, unaware the withdrawal of U.S. troops would plunge the country into chaos and a quick return to Taliban rule.
"We didn't see all this coming so she is stuck," said Baha. "I am definitely worried. I know she can adapt and is comfortable there, but I am worried. I don't know how or what is going to unravel or when commercial flights would begin again in Afghanistan."
Baha says her mother is in her mid-60s and doesn't want to brave the confusion at the Kabul airport to get on a jam-packed military flight with no seats to come back to the U.S.
Since she speaks the language and wears traditional dress, Baha says her mother has decided to stay put and see what happens.
"I think she knows she doesn't know what to expect," said Baha. "She's uncertain, but I feel like she has no choice. It's either get on the plane and go through that stampede or basically wait it out."
If commercial flights don't resume in a month or two, Baha says she will try to get her mother to a neighboring country so she could fly home from there.
In the meantime, she won't feel a sense of relief until her mother is back on Minnesota soil. "I'm definitely anxious but seeing that my mom is not anxious gives me a little bit of sanity."