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Corbett Family

Ryan Corbett is a U.S. citizen from New York. He and his family first visited Afghanistan in 2006, and they moved there in January 2010. At the time of their move, they had two small daughters, and Ryan’s wife, Anna, was pregnant with their son. They lived in Kabul and Jalalabad, and they left upon the Taliban’s reemergence in August 2021. Ryan ran and supervised projects for several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the early years (2010-2015) focusing on education as well as birth and life-saving skills.


After receiving his MBA, Ryan ultimately decided that the best way for the Afghan economy to prosper would be by helping Afghans start and operate their own businesses. In 2017, Ryan started Bloom Afghanistan - a social enterprise focused on strengthening Afghanistan’s private sector. It focused on three main areas: 1) business consulting services, 2) microfinance lending (i.e. auto rickshaws and cows), and 3) monitoring and evaluating international development projects (Ryan was a trusted subcontractor for several international NGOs).


Ryan and Anna were passionate about their service to the Afghan people, and Afghans always expressed a deep appreciation for their work supporting these NGOs. The Corbett family formed many meaningful friendships with Afghans by hosting and being hosted by them, and they truly loved their community in Afghanistan. They were devastated to have to leave behind many friends when they evacuated. After evacuating, Ryan continued to operate Bloom Afghanistan from abroad because of his commitment to seeing Afghanistan rebuilt after decades of war.


In January of 2022, Ryan returned to Afghanistan to renew his business visa and to pay and train his staff. The officials that renewed his visa gave him a warm welcome and even expressed that his business was needed in the country. In August of 2022, Ryan returned to Afghanistan on a valid 12-month visa to pay and train his staff. Unfortunately, Ryan was taken on this visit. On August 10, 2022, Ryan and his German colleague were detained by the Taliban with the only suspected reasons being their value as political leverage. The two Afghans who were originally detained with them were released in September 2022, and Ryan’s German colleague was released in December 2022. To date, Ryan has not been charged with any crime.


Ryan has been held by the Taliban in a basement cell since August 10, 2022. Since his detention, his family has had six phone calls totaling 59 minutes with Ryan. The last time he was seen by anyone other than Taliban detainees was in December 2023 when a Qatari delegation visited him. Recently released western detainees who were held in the same deplorable and inhumane conditions as Ryan reported that he is in poor health and without access to adequate medical care. In Se2023, the U.S. State Department determined that Ryan is being wrongfully detained in Afghanistan.

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