Australian Story on ABC
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Tonight | Australian Story on ABC and ABC iview

Australian Story on ABC – When the Taliban took back power in Afghanistan in 2021, a mother and son in suburban Sydney embarked on an audacious and improbable rescue.

Mahboba Rawi and her son, Sourosh Cina, were desperate to evacuate children and staff from the orphanages they founded in Afghanistan. They were certain their association with Australia and their advocacy of women’s rights would make them a target of the Taliban.

“Mahboba is one of the single most tenacious forces of nature that I have ever met,” says lawyer Sarah Dale, who helped them lobby the Australian government for emergency visas. “She is unstoppable and it is impossible not to see that in Sourosh.”

“I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” says 26-year-old Sourosh. “All I knew is I’ve got to get these people out.”

Australian Story was on the spot to record dramatic scenes in the family’s loungeroom, as the pair’s rescue attempts foundered at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Finally, more than a year after the Taliban victory, they managed to get almost 100 children and carers across the border into Pakistan and then on to new lives in Australia.

“We have an incredible capacity to make an impact on the world around us”, says Sourosh. “If responsibility comes to your doorstep, you have to take it.”

Producers: Olivia Rousset and Greg Hassall

AUSTRALIAN STORYMonday, 3 April, 8pm on ABC TV and ABC iview

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Australian Story on ABC

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