LOS ANGELES - Southern California's Afghan community watched in horror as the Taliban took over their country.
Many fear for their loved ones who are unable to leave.
"It's been devastating," said Shaw Sayed, the manager of the Halal Kitchen Cafe in Northridge.
Employees of the restaurant says it's surreal to see the Taliban take over their home country once again. The takeover happening so fast that they were caught off-guard.
Many say they still have family in Kabul.
"Horrible," said Sharifa Sadat. "My brother, all my family."
"I have no words to express my feelings," said Omid Howrang. "Shocked, nervous…"
Howrang may be speechless, but as a former member of the Afghan military, he understands the ongoing crisis better than most. The 30-year-old was in the Afghan military until last year. He wishes there was something he could do right now to help.
"My fiance is there. My brother is there," he said. "Everybody is there."
Now, Howrand doesn't know when he's going to see her again.
"They're not feeling safe at home. They're not feeling safe outside. They're just going around trying to get help," he said. "All borders are closed. They can not get out of the country."
Some of the family members back home are hiding out in basements, waiting for a chance to escape. Here in Northridge, Afghan Americans are left shattered by the loss.
"It's just heartbreaking because the younger people of Afghanistan had dreams and hopes and all that went to waste," said Sayed.