Afghanistan Zahra Alimy, who is studying medicine in Helsinki, was in her mother’s womb when the family fled the Taliban – “Maybe one day I can come back to help Afghan children”

Zahra Alimy was still his mother Amina Alimyn in the stomach when the Taliban conquered Bamiyan in the late 1990s.

The Taliban had reached the neck at the time in the civil war that ripped Afghanistan, and the Alimy family also had to flee.

The situation was chaotic and extremely frightening – once again.

Alimy’s family had also had to flee the Taliban two years earlier when the Taliban attacked the family’s hometown of Kabul. Also at that time, Amina Alimy was expecting a baby.

“We fled Kabul with the crowd. We didn’t know where we were going. There were bombs, there was violence. People died in front of us. Sometimes I fell and I was left on people’s feet, but people helped me because they wanted to help a pregnant woman, ”says Amina Alimy.

Now, twenty years later, the Taliban has once again conquered Afghanistan.

In particular, the future status of women and minorities under the Taliban regime has raised serious international concerns.

In Afghanistan, restrictions on girls’ schooling and women’s employment, study and outdoor mobility have already begun, in the same way as during the previous Taliban rule.

According to press reports, women and girls have also been forcibly beaten by the Taliban, raped and even killed.

Read more: Engaged at 40 days, studying with sheep – Young women tell what it was like to grow up as a girl in 21st century Afghanistan

I am angry and worried about the situation in my country of birth, Zahra Alimy says.

His relatives still live in Afghanistan. In addition, a close friend of Zahra Alimy lives in Kabul.

According to Zahra Alimy, her female friend has said there is a waiting mood in Kabul. People are waiting for the Taliban to show their true faces and provide more information about what the country can and cannot do in the future.

Read more: The Taliban now perform in moderation, but few trust it – “They represent good people until they have achieved a complete victory,” a Kabul woman tells HS

Particularly vulnerable are, for example, women who are unmarried, widowed or whose husband is incapacitated for work. Women who do not have a man for protection.

“Only men can be seen on the streets, as many women do not dare to go out.”

Read more: Engaged at 40 days, studying with sheep – Young women tell what it was like to grow up as a girl in 21st century Afghanistan

“As a doctor, I want to give back to Finnish society, and maybe one day I can come back to help Afghan children as well.”

According to Zahra Alimy, a friend has said she hopes she could get a scholarship to a foreign university.

“I think that Finland and many other countries could set up new scholarship programs for Afghan women in universities. They would enable young women to get to safety and continue their studies. ”

Zahra Alimy himself is studying medicine at the University of Helsinki for the fourth year. The goal is to become a pediatrician.

The medical profession comes as a bloodline from the father. The father has worked as a doctor in Kabul, and today he is practicing in Finland.

“The medical profession has always represented the freedom of the father to help. I think the same. I want to give back to Finnish society, and maybe one day I can come back to help Afghan children too. ”

Read more: We will become doctors

Zahra hopes that Finland and other countries will increase their refugee quotas so that as many Afghans in danger of death as possible can get to safety. He has also diligently shared information about the situation in Afghanistan with his own Instagram account.

“It would be important for us to include in Finland, in particular, the most vulnerable, such as families with children, widowed women, orphaned young girls and representatives of persecuted religious groups and minorities.”

Read more: Organizations are now feverishly trying to figure out how relief work could continue under the power of extremism – “The Red Cross has a direct dialogue with the Taliban”

Zahra Alimy’s mother, Amina Alimy (left), had to flee the atrocities of the Taliban in her twenties. She says she is happy that her children have been allowed to grow up safe and study.

Zahra Alimy’s mother Amina Alimy was born and raised in Kabul.

Under Taliban rule, women were not allowed to go out without men in the late 1990s. Women could be whipped if their ankles were visible under the burqa while moving outside.

“The situation for women was extremely weak. We no longer had fundamental rights. ”

When the Taliban took over the city, Amina Alimy and her sister were scared. They feared that the Taliban would kill or rape them.

“My husband worked in Kabul as a chief doctor and tried to help people. But then the Taliban arrested him because he was a hazara,” Amina Alimy says.

“I am happy that my children have been allowed to grow up in peace and have a good life.”

Of the year after imprisonment, the father of the family was unexpectedly released. Soon the family fled to Iran and from there to Pakistan. Eventually, in 2000, Alimyt ended up in Finland as quota refugees.

When she arrived in Finland, Amina Alimy was 21 years old and Zahra Alimy was 2.5 years old.

The family learned the language of their new homeland. The mother of the family studied to be a nurse and the husband continued his medical career in Finland. In 2006, Amina Alimy got a job at a kindergarten in Espoo, where she still works.

Right now, though, she is on maternity leave from work. Zahra has four siblings: three sisters and now also one brother.

“I am happy that my children have been allowed to grow up in peace and have a good life. They get to study, work and live freely. ”

“At the same time, I am sad for my relatives and other Afghans. I am particularly concerned about women and girls because history seems to repeat itself, ”says Amina Alimy.

Zahra Alimy wants to share reliable information about the situation in Afghanistan on her Instagram account so that more and more people can understand what is happening in the country as easily as possible.

Zahra Alimy last visited Kabul in 2018. It was the first time he had visited his country of birth as an adult.

“I was really surprised that the local women dressed really nicely. They walked the streets as if they were going to a fashion show. My stereotypical image of women wearing a burqa did not materialize, ”she says.

Over the past twenty years, Afghanistan has seen a growing generation of women who have been educated, employed and influenced on social media. The country has had time to make women professionals in various fields, who have had the opportunity to develop the country and criticize those in power – in general, to live the way they have chosen.

“While there have been many problems in Afghanistan in the 21st century, society has been open compared to many of the country’s neighbors,” Zahra Alimy says.

He believes that providing education for young people would be most important in a country like Afghanistan in the future as well.

“Today’s young people have a broad picture of the world, especially thanks to social media. If the country is still to be on its feet, it must be done through education. ”



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