Bird evacuated from Afghanistan learns, speaks first French word ‘Bonjour’ in his new sanctuary


A bird evacuated from Afghanistan is learning to speak to French words in his new sanctuary in United Arab Emirates.

The French Ambassador to UAE, Xavier Chatel, on Tuesday shared a video of the bird online, in which he says ‘bonjour’.

Ambassador Chatel tweeted that the bird, named Juji, was airlifted to Al Dhafra airbase in UAE, together with an Afghan girl during the Afghanistan evacuation missions.

According to Ambassador Chatel, the bird could not embark on the plane to France together with his owner due to sanitary reasons.

Video Credit: Xavier Chatel – Ambassador of France to UAE

“For sanitary reasons, the bird could not embark on the plane from AD to Flag of France. She cried silently. I was moved. I promised to take care of the bird at the Flag of France residence, feed him. She could visit him anytime and take him back. I won’t forget her look of desperate gratefulness,” Ambassador Chatel tweeted.

The Ambassador also added that he tried for a few minutes everyday to teach the bird French words, specifically focusing on the word ‘bonjour’.

To his dismay, however, the bird not only refrained from learning French words but showed how stubborn he was in the absence of his owner.

“During that heavy fortnight at the base, I was sleeping 2 or 3 hours a day, so intense was the evacuation organization. On a dizzy interlude I took Juji – the bird’s name – to the French residence. This energetic little mynah escaped his box and made a big mess in the car,” said Ambassador Chatel. “He hid beneath the seat and wouldn’t budge. When I tried to talk him into coming back, the fierce little fellow showed me that if he survived the Kabul airport, I was no match!”

The Ambassador said he was left hopeless after many attempts, until one day an employee of the Embassy sent a video of the bird in which he says ‘Bonjour’.

He also added that Juji, the bird, not only learnt how to say ‘bonjou’, but has a girlfriend too – a dove bird that visits him daily in his sanctuary.



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