KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghan women who left the country as a result of last year’s chaotic evacuation process have expressed mixed views about their life, with some feeling disappointed and others thrilled.
On August 25, 2021, the Ashraf Ghani-led government collapsed as a result of Taliban’s peaceful and swift takeover of Kabul and allowing most Afghans to leave the country.
One year on, some Afghans who worked for foreigners are still in the country and are waiting for their turn to go abroad.
Pajhwok Afghan News held interviews with some women who left the country last year. Some hailed their decision to leave the country and were optimistic about their future.
However, others were disappointed with their existing situation and hoped they would be able to return to Afghanistan soon.
Najeeba Mohammadi, 25, living in the Virginia state of the US, said: “Fearing Taliban’s rule and looking for a bright future, I left the country. I am alone, facing some obstacle. I was unable to take my family out.”
She recalled: “On August 18, I arrived at the Kabul airport and entered it after talks with US forces. I spent three days at the airport. There was a shortage of water and the weather was so hot. We would find water after hours. All of us were waiting for unknown destinations.”
She said: “I am not disappointed coming here because I could improve myself and could help my country and my family. I am satisfied living here despite difficulties. One has to work here because nobody will give you free food.”
Marzia is another woman who migrated to Canada along with her husband and children. She said: “I don’t want to recall the hurdles and problems that we faced while coming here. I am very happy having fled Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan. I am very happy.”
Marzia said she and her husband were working and their children were going to school. She claimed enjoying life and allowed to exercise her freedoms.
Some women regret going abroad
Mahnaz (not a real name) a female journalist who moved to the US during the evacuation process and currently lives in California. She told Pajhwok she felt insecure after the political change and left Afghanistan.
After receiving an email from her office and the US embassy in Kabul, she went to the airport along with one of her sisters and then flew abroad.
“Currently, I’m living in California. After the Taliban takeover, the fate of the country looked uncertain and I could not continue my work as a human rights and women’s rights defender. Thus, I left my homeland.”
Mahnaz added: “I left the country six days after the collapse of the previous government. I faced a lot of problems at the airport. We were flown to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Spain before being taken to the US.”
She noted it was difficult for a woman living alone in a foreign country, away from her family.
“After experiencing many problems at the Kabul airport … I regret leaving the country. I render all the problems and sufferings but it will be enough to stay in my country with family,” she continued.
She said she was impatiently waiting for her return to the country. “The situation in the country is not suitable for a civil activist like me to return.
“Every individual aspires to serve his/her country. I also wish to return and serve my country. My only wish is peace and prosperity in Afghanistan so that my people no longer fall victims to conflict.”
Farah Naz, another female journalist, said: “I have been living in the US since the regime change. I was very disappointed but decided to live in this country like others.
“I approached the airport without any family members accompanying me. That situation was very difficult but I somehow entered the facility.
“I reached the airport amid fear. There were shootings everywhere. At last, I managed to enter the airport,” she commented.
Asked if she repented leaving the country, she replied: “I really regret coming to the US, because life is very hard here. The American culture is unlike ours. I feel depressed most of the time because I miss my family members.”