UNITED STATES — Airbnb, the popular and affordable travel stay app that connects travelers with hosts for temporary room rentals around the world, has offered free accommodations for 20,000 Afghan refugees.
“I thought it was a great idea,” Gina Dawn, 33, Airbnb host and marketing assistant told local news outlets, “But I only have a small room added onto my place that can hold like four people maximum. Literally, 14,000 people came to my office to get the keys while I was working.”
The United States has been widely criticized for the disorganized, inefficient, and cold handling of its withdrawal from Afghanistan, which led to another takeover by the Taliban. Afghan citizens have been fleeing their country in massive groups with very little help from the western nations that created this problem for them in the first place. Airbnb’s response is helpful, but many people are concerned the company does not fully understand how bad the situation has become.
“Apparently all these people were a part of a SMALL group that was evacuated from Afghanistan this morning and they were all assigned to stay at my house,” Dawn continued, “I mean, I gave them the keys, no problem, but coordinating a key handoff with 14,000 people, most of whom don’t speak English, was wild. The government acts like all of these people already speak English. Why would they speak English? Why does the government think that? Anyway, happy to help.”
The US government has stated that Afghan refugees are “on their own with the Airbnb thing and whatever else,” despite previously promising them a safe place to seek refuge. President Biden has stated that Afghan citizens can legally enter the US without having to use Airbnb if they simply fill out paperwork that is written in English, wait a year, and “stop acting all emotional.”
Dawn says that her 14,000 houseguests are very nice and eager to continue their lives away from Taliban rule. President Biden reportedly called Dawn to thank her for “taking care of some of that BS for us” but hung up when prompted to leave a voice message. Dawn reportedly called him back but ended up leaving a message apologizing for missing his call.
The US government has not commented on whether President Biden will call her back.