Ismail and Laila * Akbari call their son every day to confirm that he is alive.
Their oldest boy, Faiz *, is trapped and alone in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. He’s 16.
“We have warned him not to get out of the house because of the danger he faces,” Mr Akbari said.
“We fear the Taliban. If they see him or identify him, he could be attacked.”
The family is part of the Hazara community, an ethnic group that the Taliban – which stormed Kabul on August 15 – has persecuted and persecuted.
Sir. Akbari arrived in Australia by boat in 2010, and after spending time in various detention centers, he began the legal process of trying to bring his family over.
In 2017, Laila Akbari received a partner visa and all but one of her children were considered addicted.
Faiz, who is adopted at birth, was denied entry to Australia.
Director of the Sydney-based Immigration Advice and Rights Center (IARC) Gregory Rohan said the family’s circumstances were “unique”.
“They have raised him since he was born, his mother died at birth, so he is their son, and under Australian immigration law he is recognized as their son,” Rohan said.
“That’s what created this awful, awful situation for the family.”
Laila made the difficult decision to accept the visa and move to Australia with her other six children in the hope that she could have his visa decision rectified soon after.
“The family is just devastated and every day it brings something new to amplify their grief, the boy’s mother is just so struck by guilt over the decisions they have made,” Mr Rohan said.
“I think a decision we would all struggle to make, she would risk her own life to go back to Kabul to be with him if she could.”
The teenager had lived with extended family until the end of last year, but they too have since managed to escape the war-torn country.
For almost five years, his parents have been struggling to get him a visa so he can join them in Australia.
“I have pain in my heart and my family is affected by this situation,” Mr Akbari said.
“I can not put into words my feelings, I just want to be reunited with my son.”
The IARC began assisting the family with the legal process more than a year ago, but has made little progress.
Sir. Rohan said that “for the most part, there has been no response” from the Department of Home Affairs.
“We reached out to MPs and asked for help to intervene in the matter, and they made remarks to us, which eventually resulted in contact from the Department of Home Affairs, who asked me for further paperwork to prove that I was their lawyer.
“That’s the extent of the response we’ve received.”
In a statement to ABC, a government spokesman said the Department of Home Affairs “does not comment on individual cases.”
“The Australian Government announced on 18 August 2021 that Afghan citizens will be given priority for treatment within Australia’s offshore humanitarian program,” the statement said.
“Special priority will be given to persecuted minorities, women and children and those with links to Australia.”
But Faiz’s parents feel “let down” by the Australian government, saying the lengthy process has affected their mental health.
“I’m tired of this process, I’ve turned to different organizations for help, but it’s taken so long and it’s come to this now [that] my wife feels half [of] she herself is here and half is in Afghanistan, “Mr Akbari said.
In October 2001, Australia joined the US-led war in Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power and fight al-Qaeda forces in the country.
The Australian Armed Forces had a military presence there for two decades.
But the Akbari family now fears it is too late to save their son, after Australia’s evacuation mission ended abruptly in late August due to security concerns.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison praised the work of the Defense Forces after successfully retrieving 4,100 people, including Australians and Afghan nationals with Australian visas.
“The government is working to ensure that visa options remain available to Afghan citizens, both in Afghanistan and those displaced from their home country, through Australia’s long-standing humanitarian and migration programs,” said a spokesman for the Department of Home Affairs.
The family does not give up and hopes that Faiz will now be prioritized by the public authorities.
“We will continue to fight to get this visa for this boy to whom he is entitled by law,” Mr Rohan said.
“This is a child who is alone in Kabul, it is almost unthinkable.
“At the moment we are focusing on what we can do, which is to try to get the Australian Government to issue this visa, so if the opportunity arises to get out somehow that he has been granted a visa, he can come. to Australia and be with his family. “
* The names of several people in this story have been changed to protect their identity.