119 Afghans Fleeing Taliban Arrive in Greece With Help of US Philanthropist

A group of Afghans who were facing certain death in their country were rescued and flown to Greece, thanks to the work of a U.S.-based philanthropist.

Amed Khan, who has been in the region for several months organizing and funding numerous rescue missions, flew with the group to Thessaloniki, where they will remain until their immigration paperwork is processed for relocation to the United States and Canada.

Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August, Greece has allowed more than 700 Afghans to travel to the country. Khan is funding private flights for these people, many of whom were lawmakers, judges and aid workers who supported U.S. and European efforts in the country over the past 20 years and were all targeted by Taliban for their loyalty to the West.

Through his network in Greece, Khan is also taking care of accommodations, medical expenses and other costs associated with the Afghans’ stay in Greece.

A native New Yorker, Khan has deep connections to Greece and is the co-founder of the Thessaloniki-based Elpida Home, an organization that has provided support and services to thousands of refugee families since its founding in 2015.

Risking his own life, he traveled to Afghanistan in August and set up a secret network of supporters, both in and out of the country, and immediately began spearheading rescue operations.

Greece has welcomed the vast majority of those rescued by Khan, thanks to a personal connection he has with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ wife, Mareva Grabowski. 

“I texted Mareva, who is an old friend, and I told her I have this situation and I don’t have anywhere to take them,” he told The Pappas Post in a WhatsApp message. “An hour later, they said, ‘Yes, we will take them.’ I didn’t even have to pitch this to them.”

The Pappas Post is in regular contact with Khan, who has been sharing various images and videos during his rescue operations. They are being published regularly on Gregory Pappas’ Instagram profile. An archive of these posts is here.

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