"What you could see around the airport was so shocking," he told Fox News. "I never expected anything like it.
Cairo arrived in Kabul in 1990, sent by the International Committee of the Red Cross to treat the victims of the war, providing often prostheses for amputees wounded by the earth. mines. He never left and decided not to carry out an evacuation flight when the Taliban returned to power.
"The ICRC is supposed to be working in places of war ", did he declare. "If humanitarian organizations do not stay, who should stay?
After 31 years in Afghanistan as part of a Red Cross mission, Italian physiotherapist Alberto Cairo chose to stay out of fear for his female colleagues. (International Committee of the Red Cross)
Cairo says much of Kabul is quiet, as locals await clarification on what life will be like under the Taliban.
"Usually there are always children playing everywhere," he said. "There are so many children in Afghanistan playing - now very few of them. It 's as if the people ofKabul were waiting for something. "
It is unclear whether the Taliban will restore the kind of basic and tough rules it imposed when it was last in power, before it US invasion of 2001, or whether, as the Islamist group has suggested, it relaxed its stance on human rights, including the rights of women and girls.
"During for a while I had a feeling people couldn't believe the Taliban was back, "Cairo said. " Now they know full well that they are here ... but they wait the regulations. "
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In its 31 years in Afghanistan, the network of orthopedic centers in Cairo has expanded and now supports millink patients with
Its Red Cross mandate - to care for people regardless of their origin or affiliations - - can put enemies face to face. He recalled a recent queue of patients at a rehabilitation center with "two or three " Taliban members "sitting nearby. At a mujahideen.
"On the same bench sat an also an old communist, [and] a few soldiers - soldiers who, until a few months ago, were fighting the Taliban. All disabled, all sitting together, talking to each other and comparing, comparing their disabilities . "
" One of the Taliban offered to take a selfie, "he said. "It was very funny, and it 's what happens every day. Disability flattens everything.
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Cairo declared that he had been assured by the Taliban that his center could continue operating: "They know we are neutral, impartial, that anyone can come. So we feel pretty safe.
While the women were largely confined to the house for According to the Taliban's latest rule, female medical professionals were allowed to work.
"At first they might have been a little hesitant, " Cairo said. "[But] nothing has changed from the way they worked three weeks ago. So they feel great.
"So far we have no problem, "Cairo mentioned. "We hope it will stay like this.
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However, it fears a threat of economic crisis. The cold winter months in Afghanistan are coming, and billions of dollars in Afghan assets have been frozen abroad since the Taliban takeover.
"My post is very clear, "Cairo said. "Please don 't forget about Afghanistan. I'm afraid it will be forgotten again. And then we - I mean, I got down with the Afghans - us we will face a terrible economic situation. "
He urged foreign governments to pressure the Taliban for their rights.
"The international community must be present, " he said, "have a dialogue with the Taliban and keep the door open for negotiations.open cations, to make sure all of this stuff is guaranteed.
"But that will only happen if Afghanistan is not forgotten.