THREE MEN from wildly different backgrounds joined forces to save thousands of lives as Kabul was falling under the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Shiv Shanker Nair, Vanuatu’s Permanent Representative to UNWTO in Madrid is better known to fellow Olive Press readers as a key benefactor to Big Red’s Animal Charity in Catral, Costa Blanca South.
He recently donated 2,000 euros to keep the centre going through lockdown, when funds were critically low.
Prince Davit Bagrationi Mukhrani is the half-Spanish Head of the Royal Family in the former Soviet state of Georgia.
And Quentin Quarantino is the name used by Tommy Marcus, a 25-year-old New Yorker, famous for liberal memes and jokes at the expense of anti-vaccine conspirators.
The three unlikely philanthropists gave their time and efforts to collaborate and find a solution to the problem of rescuing innocent at-risk Afghan nationals that were stuck in Kabul as the Taliban were taking over their country.
‘Quarantino’ issued an online appeal to his 832,000 followers looking for financial support to rescue the vulnerable.
Ultimately, more than 121,000 people donated to the campaign, raising $7 million in a matter of days on GoFundMe to start rescue missions into Afghanistan.
This caught the eye of Ambassador Nair, who used all of his contacts to facilitate the rescue flights into Kabul.
He reached out to the Prime Ministers of Macedonia, Greece, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and drummed up support in the Commonwealth, as he was previously Vanuatu’s Envoy Extraordinary to the Commonwealth.
Hundreds of Afghans attempting to leave the Taliban before the deadline of August 31 were able to reach safety.
When the group began facing problems getting landing rights in the countries neighbouring Afghanistan, Major Jason Hatch, a former US Defence attaché, turned to his friend, Prince Davit Bagrationi Mukhrani.
The prince’s mother and grandmother were both members of the Spanish nobility, while his father was Juan Bagration, the famous Spanish racing driver from the 1970s.
The combined efforts of everyone involved made it one of the largest humanitarian fundraisers in GoFundMe history.
Incredibly, Operation Flyaway rescued almost 2000 Afghans, many of them apparently on a Taliban kill list.