The Taliban's dramatic takeover of Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, is an historic event sending shockwaves through parts of the Ballarat community.
The return to power of the Islamic militants, having been overthrown by US-led forces 20 years ago, is being felt by both the Afghan community and returned service personnel alike.
Abdul Rasuli, 27, is one local Afghan affected.
"It's devastating actually, it's so difficult," Mr Rasuli said.
Mr Rasuli was shaken by the storming of Kabul.
"In Kabul, it's looting; there's nearly 30,000 prisoners released into Kabul," he said.
"It's like hell now. All the murderers and prisoners, they have got into the streets."
The presence of the Taliban and other violent types has resulted in Mr Rasuli's family, still based in Kabul, living in fear.
"They're all locked up inside; they're not going anywhere," Mr Rasuli said.
"They're not safe in their own house because of the prisoners and the fighting."
Strife is being felt across Afghanistan.
"Even the district I was living in (before moving to Kabul) has no government," said Mr Rasuli.
"The Taliban representative is not there; people are living without any government."
Fleeing Afghanistan, Mr Rasuli came to Australia in 2013.
"Our country was not safe," Mr Rasuli said.
"It was all fear; it was very dangerous. Everyone was fighting. It was complete chaos. It was not a place to live."
Even when out of power, the Taliban threatened.
"They would control the village roads," Mr Rasuli said.
"They had a heavy presence everywhere."
Mr Rasuli fears the future rule of the Taliban.
"They discriminate, they persecute minority groups, those going to universities, schools," Mr Rasuli said.
"They would not allow women to get an education, go to school, get a job, and be part of society."
Mr Rasuli's personal story is one of desperation for liberty.
Since risking his life to reach Australia on a crowded, leaking boat, Mr Rasuli has been dedicated to improving himself. He is studying engineering at Federation University. On weekends, he works part-time as a tradesman. He also works for the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Centre.
In a quest to aid those affected by the Taliban's actions, Mr Rasuli suggests people begin fundraising and donating to the Red Cross. He also suggests reaching out to local Afghans who are struggling.
Mr Rasuli remains fearful for his family.
"I am safe here," he said. "It's about them; everyone is devastated at the moment."
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