Mohammad Zaman Khadimi considers himself one of the lucky few.
The Australian National University student arrived in Canberra last week from the Afghanistan capital of Kabul via a two-week hotel quarantine stint in Melbourne.
In a series of dramatic twists and turns, Zaman made it to Hamid Karzai International Airport in the days before a major explosion stalled the evacuation race.
After two days of frantic phone calls and sliding door moments, the Hazara-Afghan secured his spot on a plane to Melbourne with a pitstop in Dubai.
Sadly, he had to leave behind his wife in the chaos. He is deeply concerned for her safety.
It's a scenario he never even imagined prior to August 10 - five days before the city fell to the militant Islamist group.
"I never thought that the Taliban would take over Kabul and the country," Zaman said.
"It was very shocking news."
When the city fell to insurgents on August 15, he knew he had to come up with a plan. He had worked with the government in the trade area and knew he would be a target.
He didn't leave the house for days while he called everyone he could. His lecturers and professors at the university, the Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs departments and even a journalist at Guardian Australia he credits with helping him every step of the way.
As an ANU student, he already had a student visa. He just needed an exemption to be let into the country given the ongoing pandemic restrictions.
Within a week of the Taliban's takeover, he had gotten his exemption and made his first attempt to get to the airport.
He recalled passing through many Taliban checkpoints, lying about his purpose for travelling before eventually being beaten by members of the Taliban with cables as he tried to get into the airport.
"We just lost everything and the country was being controlled by people who do not have any human values," he said.
He returned home and tried again early the next morning.
He spent seven hours trying to get through the crowds at the airport, looking for someone who would let him through to a flight to Australia.
Eventually he received some calls and made his way to another area of the airport. After more confusion and another few hours of waiting and relocating, he was rushed onto a flight.
"It was a really horrible moment," Zaman said.
"There was a huge crowd of people so I couldn't take my computer, my clothes, everything.
"I came [to Australia] without a change of clothes."
While he had brought his wife with him on the second day, she was not able to join him amid the mayhem.
As someone who worked to educate women in the country, he's deeply concerned for her safety and hopes the Australian government can work to save her and others at risk.
"I'm worried a lot about her," he said.
"They are highly under danger from the Taliban - to be harmed or be tortured or be killed.
"[The Taliban] think, or suppose, that a wife or husband [that] has moved to Australia [are now] working in the interest of non-Muslims.
"We kindly request from the Australian government to help those people [back in Afghanistan] and to work with the families of those people who are in Australia."
Despite being under lockdown, he's happy to be in the relative safety of Canberra.
But arriving here alone was never the plan. Zaman said his priority was getting his wife to join him here with the help of the government.
"My plan is to finish my degree and to evacuate my family, especially my wife," Zaman said.
"My family will be punished [by the Taliban], especially my wife. So this is my top priority."
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