Afghanistan Crisis: पंजशीर के लड़ाकों ने किया 300 तालिबानियों को मार गिराने का दावा

Woman trying to escape Taliban

Woman trying to escape Taliban: ‘We’ve lost everything again’

Woman trying to escape Taliban: Last Sunday, as Afghanistan crossed the Taliban, a Kabul woman and her teenage son packed their lives in two leather suitcases and headed for the airport.

These suitcases included jewelery, watches, cash, hard drives and work papers, and any clothing they could fit, including winter ones, in case they got cold somewhere.

The woman, D, did not live in Kabul. He had been running all week. His journey began when he fled to a border town he called home as Taliban troops were closed. As an outspoken women’s rights activist, she did not feel safe there.

In Kabul, wearing a dress, a handkerchief, a mask and gloves, D tried to find a taxi that would take him and his son to the airport. Eventually he gave up and walked for an hour in the heat, carrying their suitcases.

The airport was in a state of disarray. Men, women, and children were climbing the walls of the airport, paving the tarmac, crawling around taxi ranks, and sitting on parked planes. The young men were holding on to the departure of US Air Force planes with the intention of gaining independence.

The evening fell on a frustrated city, and D and his son patiently waited for the flight. Then they gave up. As they made their way into the hot nights, they encountered a commotion as they headed toward the airport. They were covered by a crowd, and one of them snatched their bags.

“We have seen that we can help ourselves if they are stolen before our eyes,” D told me as he told the phone from Kabul, his voice trembling.

“They just ran away with our bags,” he said. “We lost everything again.”

She burst into tears.

“Things have been stolen from me for as long as I can remember – in my childhood, in my youth,” he said. “My work and my family have saved me.” For two decades, D has run a women’s rights group in Afghanistan, teaching girls to read and provide women with accommodation, counseling and job training.

Now he is afraid of punishment. Some fathers, husbands, brothers, uncles, and wives of the women he helped went to prison. On their march to Kabul, the Taliban released prisoners from several prisons, and some of those men could now roam free.

“I’m sure they came looking for me,” he said. “I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t run away in time.”

D and his son fled their village before the days of the Taliban. They took different flights to Kabul, and her husband later traveled on the road – a two-day trip. After arriving in the capital, D spoke to security guards at their building back home. He told her that some men had come to the apartment.

“The first night after the attack they came looking for us,” he said. “They knocked on the door. The guard refused to open it.”

A security guard told him he heard the men enter the door, discuss plans to shoot him and search the apartment, but they left. The next morning, the men returned, climbed the wall, and entered the house. They asked him many questions: Where were D and his family? Where were their cars?

“From then on, every night they came looking for me. Every night. They searched our home,” he said. “I don’t know who they were. They were wearing scarves. I heard they were going with the local Taliban who were standing in the back.”

D’s life is a great courage in the face of violence. During the war between the Soviet forces and the mujahedeen, he survived a rocket attack on his school. His principal was killed because he refused to wear a handkerchief, he said. Another teacher was killed for allegedly collaborating with communism.

After school he moved to Kabul. During the civil war in the 1990s, he married, completed his studies, had children, and eventually moved homes as the war destroyed areas.

“It was like we were living a picnic life,” he said. “Every time a war came to our area, we simply took our sleeping bags and left.”

When the Taliban took control of the city in 1996, D lost his job. He returned to his looted house in Kabul and, in defiance of the Taliban ban, began educating girls from there. In the apartment at least, there was an oven to heat the teaching materials if necessary.

In 2001, a new war broke out, but the expulsion of the Taliban allowed him to teach again and again. And she continued to do so much for Afghan women and girls. It was not easy at all, he said.

“I have carried you hard for the rest of my life. I have never really enjoyed it. Even if you work for women in Afghanistan, you make enemies and become a victim of many men.”

As the Taliban approached their village two weeks ago, D feared he would be attacked again. When his three sons were young, the family received threats to kidnap them because of his work, he said. His two sons were sent abroad while the US kept the Taliban away. The elder had not seen his father for ten years; young by three years.

Last Sunday, when Kabul collapsed, three remaining family members in Afghanistan once again plunged into fear and anxiety.

“I’m tired mom,” said D’s son. “How long should we run and hide because of your work? Why should we pay the price for what you do?”

Now D was crying uncontrollably.

“My job and my family were my only happiness,” he said. “They stole my happiness.”

As the week drew to a close, hope arrived. D has received a report that there may be seats on her plane, her husband’s, and her son’s plane – either in the US or Europe.

They returned to the airport and waited again – for the third time in three weeks. This time they took only three small bags containing their valuables. “There is nothing more tangible,” D said, with a call from the airport. “We’ll buy clothes when I get to where they take us.”

I asked her if her son was feeling better.

“Not really,” he said. “Running away was never his choice. It has always been a question of survival. How much my family has paid for my work.”

One thought on “Woman trying to escape Taliban

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