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Afghanistan Sees Largest Evacuee Airlift Since U.S. Exit, All Connected to Music School

In what has been declared the largest airlift of Afghan refugees since the U.S. exit on September 1, more than 100 students, alumni and faculty members of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music were evacuated from Kabul and are en route to Portugal.

The institute’s director said Monday that that Portuguese government has agreed to grant the group asylum. They left on a flight carrying 235 passengers out of Kabul’s international airport to Qatar on Sunday, the largest rescue lift of Afghan nationals since two weeks prior to U.S. and NATO forces withdrawing from the country.

“You cannot imagine how happy I am. Yesterday I was crying for hours,” the school’s founder and director, Ahmad Sarmast, said from his home in Melbourne, Australia.

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