WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A Waterbury man is relieved this Labor Day after getting word from his family who have been trying to evacuate from Afghanistan.
Joey Naseri was proud to work on Labor Day. He owns NYC Express Gyros on Bunker Hill Avenue. Naseri, who’s from Afghanistan, says owning his own business is something that would’ve been much harder to accomplish under Taliban rule in his native country.
“I’m very happy to be able to work on any day. I want on my own will,” he said.
Lately, Naseri has been working on getting his loved ones out of Afghanistan. He tells News 8 several loved ones could not make it out of Afghanistan when U.S. troops withdrew last week, ending the 20-year war there. But, just Sunday night, he got a message from his cousin that he prayed he would one day receive.
“I opened up my picture and I see his two beautiful daughters,” Naseri said.
Those little girls are one and two years old. Naseri says the picture was taken in their home in Virginia. That brought a smile to his face, knowing they successfully made it back to the United States.
“It hit me deeply to see them well, happy,” Naseri said.
He credits the American military for helping them get safely to the Kabul airport.
“The America armed forces — all the men and women — they were phenomenal,” Naseri said.
But, he also says there are about 20 other, older family members who could not get out. Naseri is still praying for them and is hoping he will see them again soon on this side of the world. Meantime, he’s making plans to see his little cousins, who he hopes to see flourish here in a new land.
“They’re in a much, much better place,” Naseri said. “Hopefully, they’ll have a happy life going forward.”