HERNDON, Va. - The son of a Northern Virginia man murdered by the Taliban is speaking out about his father’s tragic death.
Back in January, members of the Taliban rushed into the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing more than 40 people, including Rahim Barak.
The 58-year-old was excited to head home to Afghanistan for the first time in three decades to see family and friends there. He checked into the well-known hotel and was eating with friends when his family said Taliban insurgents charged in and opened fire.
“The Taliban insurgents, they snuck in through the kitchen and from the kitchen, they went into the restaurant. They went into the restaurant, they started shooting everybody,” said Fawad Barak, Rahim’s son. “What happened to my father is that he was shot and killed. He was shot in the head.”
Fawad said his father was excited to visit his homeland. He remembers dropping him off at the airport and their last conversation.
“Dad, I hope God gives you a successful trip, and then as he was strolling down the aisle, he turns back around one last time and says, ‘Pray for me,’” Fawad recalled.
Rahim was well-known in the Northern Virginia Muslim community and a hardworking father who at times held down four jobs to support his family.
“My youngest brother Omar, who is 6 years old, now calls me dad,” said Fawad. “That realization really wakes me up.”
As the siege was underway, Fawad said his family watched in horror at the live reports online knowing his father was inside the hotel. A day later, their family members in Afghanistan delivered the news that Rahim was killed.
Fawad said he will not rest until all of those responsible for planning the terrorist act are brought to justice.
“For me, there is going to be a plan, an action to take by holding these perpetrators accountable and responsible for their actions,” he said. “So I will not stop or hesitate until I die.”
Fawad said it was his father’s dream to see him graduate college. Fawad is attending George Mason University and will fulfill that dream next year.