“I feel like a prisoner”: What will happen to those of us in Kabul?


Afghanistan Update

The author is an award-winning social affairs reporter

I haven’t left home for nearly 60 hours. What should I do if what happened in my country is true? Before that, the horror of the Taliban regime only existed in the stories and pages of my family.Now they are Actually our government. In this way, my future is being rewritten.

On Sunday, I worked as a reporter in the office, specializing in social affairs, especially women’s issues, because the news that the Taliban had arrived in Kabul spread, and my colleagues and I panic. We quickly closed our social media accounts so that if our office is raided, our personal data will be protected.

When we fled to a relatively safe home, the partially blocked road in Kabul was reminiscent of the end of the world scene, and I had to walk a few kilometers. The streets are full of well-dressed modern women, they are also scrambling to do the same thing. Women’s shoes abandoned in an emergency were scattered on the road.

So I sit here and feel like a prisoner. I don’t know how the Taliban would treat me if they believed that I was a female journalist who had written hundreds of reports against them.

We know that after occupying other provinces, the Taliban began searching the residences and documents of government employees, former jihadist commanders, security forces and journalists.

I have hidden my own files. I destroyed all the photos that could prove that I was a reporter. After I was named Journalist of the Year, I received a medal from former President Ashraf Ghani.

The only way I know what’s happening outside is to follow developments on Facebook and Twitter. For a time, the Afghan TV news channel only played songs, the Quran or religious poems. Popular channels such as Tolo News and Ariana News are just repeating transmissions.

Social media showed me the depth of the tragedy in Kabul: video clips of people flocking to the airport hoping to leave the country, and reports of some people being killed. Someone told me that a friend who worked in the American media was airlifted with his family, but I don’t know where they were taken.

The Taliban are now searching houses in Kabul, including the residences of reporters. Taliban forces also conducted a search in the Tolo Press Office in Wazir Akbar Khan. Its founder Saad Mohseni later shared on Twitter that employees are safe.

That is for We women That situation is the most unfortunate. My friends asked me what they should do via text message. The Taliban said that if we wear an Islamic headscarf, that is, a full-body veil, we can go to work. However, after occupying the city of Herat in western Afghanistan, they said that the university was still open, and then prevented female students and female professors from entering the campus.

It is not yet clear what will happen to schools and universities in Kabul, as it is currently a week-long summer vacation. No one knows what decision the Taliban will make now. No one knows what decision the Taliban will make in a week.

Even if they don’t kill women who have worked and spoke up like me for many years, if we are forced to stay at home and lose our independence, we will die anyway.

I call on the international community, the United States, NATO, and all countries that can work hard in these critical situations to prevent Afghan women from returning to the dark age of my family story.

We Afghan women believe that the Taliban will never change and we will suffer under their control. What they say and what they do is never the same.


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