SCOTLAND'S Afghan community is grieving over events that have yet to unfold, The National has been told.

The community includes ex-teachers forced out of their professions by the Taliban and interpreters whose work for the British Army meant they could no longer stay there for fear of death.

It also includes young people who know nothing of the time before the Taliban, or before the US-led invasion of the homeland their families left behind.

The 4000-strong community has been shaken by the events of recent days and there's now an urgent need for information about the friends and relatives still in Afghanistan as regime change continues to affect almost all of the country.

"Nobody thought it would come to this so quickly," says Mohammad Asif of the Glasgow-based Afghan Human Rights Foundation.

"It's like when you wake up from night terrors – you don't know where you are and how you feel. Everybody here has plenty of relatives, plenty of friends there."

READ MORE: UK uses loophole to abandon Afghan staff threatened by Taliban

Some groups are affected more badly than others. Afghanistan is a nation of many ethnic groups with different languages, traditions and allegiances. Some of these are more closely aligned to the Taliban, some more strongly embedded in the now-broken government and security services.

It is the members of these groups who are most at risk. Killings, documented on camera and shared on social media, prove the dangers.

Many Afghans abroad have long been wary of speaking out for fearing of causing indirect harm to loved ones back home. That fear is now heightened as those with residency in the UK try to help relatives overcome bureaucratic hurdles to join them.

For these families, there is no time to lose. Houses are already being abandoned as people flee, with fighters moving into the empty properties. Many of those at-risk went to Kabul seeking safety that's not there now that the capital is under Taliban control.

The National has heard how the situation is affecting even the youngest Afghan community members, with children who have little or no memory of the country moved to tears.

Even sporting heroes like the national cricket team – who have previously made community-boosting visits to Glasgow – are unsafe, with members in hiding.

Asif's nephew is amongst those cut off from his family. They're in Jalalabad but he's in Kabul, where he won't now leave his house. "The road is closed," Asif says. "There's no security, he's on his own. Everyone is very upset.

"Brutal people are in charge."

READ MORE: Kabul Airport: Devastating footage shows Afghans run as US military jet tries to depart

"We feel terrible," says Abdul Bostani of the Scottish Unity Football League and Glasgow Afghan United. "We feel grief – grief for what's going to happen.

"This will not stop, there will be resistance. It is already forming, we are on the edge of civil war right now. We live in fear for our families and friends."

Community members are doing their best to help each other. Bostani's wife Khalida helps run their charity's Women's Empowerment Project.

The Big Lottery-funded - recently visited by Judy Murray - was set up to help with language, skills and mental health and is now also functioning as a support network for women trying to build better lives for themselves and their daughters.

Earlier this year it held a cross-cultural International Women’s Day event standing firm against sexism and discrimination and championing women’s rights in Scotland and around the world. But it's hard for members to now see what's unfolding in their homeland.

"I have learned how to stay positive in challenging times", member Maryam says of taking part in its "lifeline" services.

These remained during "the most terrible and unprecedented times" of lockdown, and now the unprecedented is yet again putting lives in turmoil. "I am not alone," she says of the benefits of membership. "I have friends to talk to if I need them at any time."

"Afghan women in Scotland are strong, they are skilled, they are capable, they are powerful and they are assets to this city and this country," Khalida says. "We love Scotland just as much as we love Afghanistan. Both countries share beautiful landscapes, cultures and traditions.

"We want to ensure all members have the support they need."