From the time it was announced that US forces would leave Afghanistan after being in the country for 20 years, Sadiq Taimori feared the Taliban would once again take over the country.
What he, nor his fellow refugees in Australia, nor anyone around the world or even in Afghanistan itself could conceive was the speed that their worst fears would come true.
For Mr Taimori, who co-owns Ballarat's Gravy Spot with fellow Afghanistani refugees Nadir Heidari and Aziz Bamyani, the rise of the Taliban brings desperation about the future of his family who are virtual prisoners at a family member's home in Kabul.
His wife Razia and children Mahdi, 18, Hadia, 17, and Eleyas, 13, fled their home in Bamyan, in central Afghanistan, when the Taliban began re-taking parts of the country earlier this month.
LISTEN TO SADIQ TAIMORI TALK ABOUT THE SITUATION FACING HIS FAMILY TRAPPED IN AFGHANISTAN
Thinking they would be safer in Kabul as the Taliban were unlikely to be so brazen as to take the capital, Mr Taimori urged them to go to a cousin's house where they are now sheltering, but cannot go outside.
Food is scarce and hopelessness is a constant companion.
Unlike generations before them, Mr Taimori's children have grown up in an Afghanistan free from Taliban rule and strict Sharia law.
Before the latest uprising they were like many other teens across the world.
"There was a very popular lake in Bamyan and they used to go there especially in the summertime for bike riding and skating, they would go to the mountain when their friends and go to school and go to the gym ... but at the moment none of them can," he said.
Mahdi is awaiting his university exam results and is a renowned gamer who hopes to study computer science, and Hadia is in year 11 and speaks fluent English while Eleyas is a Harry Potter fan who wonders why his dad can't fly a dragon in to save them.
Like Mr Taimori, Mr Heidari's wife Zahra is trapped in Afghanistan with their son Navid, 11 months, who has never met his father. He wants his son to grow up in Australia where it is safe, peaceful and free from the threat of the Taliban.
The three men who co-own the Gravy Spot are all Hazaras, an ethnic minority in Afghanistan persecuted by the Taliban.
Mr Taimori was also a target of the Taliban because of his work with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and it was during a work trip, when he and colleagues were stopped at a Taliban checkpoint within sight of a government checkpoint just weeks after the Taliban had murdered a local governor, that he realised his life was in danger.
He went home and immediately began preparations to leave.
Now he fears his children will be kidnapped and there is particular concern about his daughter as the Taliban take young women to forcibly marry to their fighters.
Under previous Taliban regimes, women were largely confined to their homes, refused an education, television and music were banned and public executions were held. While the Taliban has promised to honour women's rights, within Islamic law, few in the international community or within Afghanistan believe they will stay true to their word.
Mr Taimori says the only safe future for his wife and children is with him in Australia and has pleaded to the federal government to evacuate them on humanitarian grounds.
"I'm trying to ask for help from everyone who can help to bring my family over here, to get my family to live together again after a long time," Mr Taimori said.
It is more than nine years since he has seen his family, five years since he passed his citizenship test though he is still waiting to officially become an Australian citizen, and three years since applying for visas for his family to join him in Australia.
"I'm looking everywhere for help. From Australian people, politicians, all of the people in Australia to help immigrant people to reunite with their family and have a safe life.
Add your voice to over 85,000 calling on PM Scott Morrison to take urgent steps to support the people of #Afghanistan.— ASRC (@ASRC1) August 19, 2021
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"If they could fast track visa applications and rescue missions. Countries around the world have done it. Canada have announced (they will take ) 20,000 people at risk in Afghanistan and we have this great country Australia, a great nation and the success of immigrants in this country ... our government should and could do much better than that.
"I want the Australian government as well to take people who are in danger in Afghanistan, to take them out and to give them a chance to live in peace in Australia."
Ballarat federal MP Catherine King raised the issue of Mr Taimori and Mr Haidari's families directly with Home Affairs minister Karen Andrews this week.
"The frustrating thing with Sadiq and Nadir's case is the government has been, for years now, going slow with assessment of visas for family members of Afghan permanent residents," Ms King said.
"We raised both their family cases with the home affairs minister and they assure us they've got all the documentation they need. It's now in government hands ... but it's a very desperate circumstance for these families.
"The first step has to happen is that the government needs to expedite their visas because they're only taking Australians and visa holders."
Ms King said the deeply personal stories of Sadiq and Nadir were a very human face in our own home town of what is happening on the other side of the world.
Mr Taimori said the scenes at Kabul airport, with desperate people cramming themselves in to overloaded jets, parents hoisting children over the airport fence, and others trying to hold on to aircraft taking off, were heartbreaking and showed the genuine fear of a future under Taliban rule.
"It's heartbreaking. People don't care about their lives, about anything in the future which is why they are trying to get out of there and escape anything they have got to endure. Nothing is going to stop them just trying to get out because it's really, really scary to live under a Taliban government."
When the Taliban first came to power in Afghanistan in the mid 1990s, Mr Taimori also left the country.
"The last time the Taliban came to Afghanistan, I was living there at the time and when they came they were going to take all the Hazara people. I went to Iran for five years until 2001 when the US troops came to Afghanistan and then I came home again."