In the rush to get vulnerable Afghan nationals out before the mass killings begin, a particular story reflects how concerned citizens from around the world have pulled together to do their bit to facilitate the escape to safety of Afghanistan’s most at risk citizens.
Hundreds of Afghans who were attempting to leave the Taliban before Tuesday, the 31st deadline for the US pull-out from Kabul were able to reach safety. Thanks to Instagram star Quentin Quarantino’s support. Tommy Marcus, a 25-year-old New York City resident, is the alter ego of Quarantino. He is famous for his liberal memes and jokes against COVID-19 vaccine opponents. Quarantino and his supporters donated $7 million in a matter of days on GoFundMe to start rescue missions into Afghanistan.
After Marcus issued an appeal to his 832,000 followers, more than 121,000 people donated to the campaign. Thereby, making it one of the largest humanitarian fundraisers in GoFundMe history.
Among the many military veterans and ex state department diplomats assisting Tommy’s campaign was Major Jason Hatch, a former US Defence attaché, with many tours of duty in Africa under his belt. When the group began facing problems getting landing rights in the countries neighbouring Afghanistan, Hatch turned to an old friend, HRH, Prince Davit Bagrationi Mukhrani, the Head of the Royal Family of the erstwhile Soviet state of Georgia.
The Prince in turn reached out to one of the Knights of his Order of The Red Eagle, Ambassador ShivShanker Nair, Vanuatu’s Permanent Representative to UNWTO and until recently Vanuatu’s Envoy Extraordinary to the Commonwealth.
From his Office in London, Ambassador Nair, according to our sources blitzed his political contacts with appeals to allow the rescue flights to land. He appealed to the PMs of Macedonia, Greece Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and drummed up support in the Commonwealth.
Incredibly, Operation Flyaway rescued almost 2000 Afghans, many of them on a Taliban kill list. While western governments dithered, or in many cases abandoned the people who had worked for them in Afghanistan, private citizens from these countries rallied, raised funds and did their bit to help these at-risk people. The coming days will show the true colours of the Taliban.