A unique narrative of a French ambassador, a young Afghan refugee, and her beloved pigeon has enthralled social media users. It is one of the rare positive stories from the Afghan situation. A mynah bird brought from Afghanistan by a girl fleeing the Taliban found a new home with France’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.
Xavier Chatel, the French ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, took to Twitter to share a story he had been meaning to tell for a while. Ambassador Xavier Chatel says he was moved by the little girl. She arrived “exhausted” and was carrying the bird, named Juji, at the Al-Dhafra airbase in the UAE during the chaotic evacuations from Kabul.
…Or so I thought. Until one day, the (female) manager of the French residence sent me this "Bonjour" that went straight to my heart.
— Xavier Chatel (@Xavier_Chatel_) October 5, 2021
The girl was left in tears after being told she couldn’t take her pet on the onward journey to France for “sanitary reasons”, Chatel mentions in a series of tweets. “She had fought all the way at Kabul airport, to bring the treasured little thing with her,” he writes. “The girl cried silently. I was moved. I promised to take care of the bird at the residence, feed him. She could visit him anytime and take him back. I won’t forget her look of desperate gratefulness.”
The bird now is friends with a dove. Dove visits him daily. After much persuasion, he finally learnt to say “bonjour.” “Today, from Paris, the owner of the bird, ‘Alia’, found me on Twitter. I was so happy to see your bird so cared for, ” Chatel writes, using a pseudonym for the girl. “She wants me to teach him French. Alia, your bird has become the embassy’s mascot, but he is here for you. If I can, I’ll take him personally to you one day.” he adds.
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