Nilofar Ayoubi is one of thousands of Afghan women whose lives have changed drastically in a matter of days: she is in Kabul with her husband and three children (three and five years old and one is 11 months old) and has been threatened by the Taliban, who have come to search it at your place of work and at your family home at least three times in the same day. Now she tries to get out of the country as soon as possible.
“In the image you can see two men, but another four are inside the car. I don’t know what to do. I have no words to express my feeling of anger, fear, frustration and disappointment at the same time,” wrote Ayoubi on Twitter, after viewing by a security camera that several men were looking for her.
Ayoubi is an activist, advocate for women’s rights and has worked as an English teacher. It currently owns the international health and beauty brand “Forever Living”.
However, with the entry of the Taliban into Kabul on Aug. 15, she has become a target and now fears for her life and that of her family.
“A Taliban was at my family’s house today. I’m very scared and I don’t know what to do. Things are very tense, I can’t say anything. All I have to do is get on the evacuation list, get to the airport and leave from here,” she narrated in an anguished voice, in an interview with Agência Efe.
“I do not have much time”
Ayoubi says she received a call from a former Afghan government official that left her disoriented.
“I got a warning that the Taliban have a long list of people like me, like her, who go from house to house and kill people, and that this won’t make the news. So I’m very scared. If this is true. , means I don’t have a lot of time,” he reported.
She believes that the only solution is to leave the country as soon as possible, together with her family, but so far this has been an impossible mission.
“As a women’s advocate, you can see my situation right now, what can I do? I can’t even save my family’s life, what can I do for others? I’m afraid for my life, for theirs. I’m afraid for theirs. security. I’m devastated. And I don’t know what will happen. I just need to get them out as soon as possible,” he declared.
No commercial flights are leaving Kabul and, according to the activist, no military flights have responded to her evacuation request.
“Right now, the only thing that matters is the safety of my family, the lives of my children, my mother and my brother. We need them to help us leave the country, no matter where,” he lamented.
Ayoubi’s story went viral on social media through Laia Marsal, a specialist in communication and marketing, with whom she connected casually via Twitter.
So far, the Spaniard has helped her fill out the form to try to get a US visa and has publicized the situation so that the woman and her family can be on an evacuation list.
nightmare for women
Women who participated in Afghan politics before the Taliban returned to power are feeling cornered. The youngest mayor in Afghanistan, Zarifa Ghafari, said earlier this week that there was no one who could help her.
“I am sitting here waiting for them to come. There is no one to help me or my family. I am just sitting with them and my husband. And they will come after people like me and kill me,” said Zarifa Ghafari, 27, mayor from Maidan Shar, to the British newspaper i. “I can’t leave my family. And anyway, where would I go?”
The fear is explained by the treatment of women during 1996 and 2001, when the Taliban dominated most of Afghanistan, including the capital Kabul. Back then, women could rarely leave the house, even to shop, and when they did, they had to be covered from head to toe in long burkas and accompanied by a male relative. Girls’ schools were closed and stonings and executions were common for those who flouted the fundamentalist group’s strict interpretation of Islamic law.
Some women, however, have decided to stay in the country, such as education consultant Payvand Seyed Ali. She told the BBC it is not useful to have expectations about what the Taliban will do on women’s rights, but adds that “we have to work with what we have, and what we have includes high-level Taliban promises that women will have access to education and work.”
Trying to improve their image inside and outside the home, Taliban spokesmen said they would respect the rights of women and minorities “in accordance with Afghan norms and Islamic values”. The statement was considered vague and, coupled with the Taliban’s lack of credibility, the message did little to allay concerns.
Malala Yousafzai, shot at age 15 by the Taliban for campaigning for girls’ education in Pakistan, wrote a op-ed for the New York Times on Thursday (18), saying he fears for his “Afghan sisters”.
“The activists I spoke to feared a return to religious-only education, which would leave children without the skills to fulfill their dreams, and their country without doctors, engineers and scientists in the future,” Malala wrote. “They are asking for protection, education, freedom and the future they were promised. We cannot continue to fail them.”