An Afghan Woman On The Run In Kabul

Nilofar Ayoubi

Nilofar Ayoubi helped send his staff home after the Taliban seized Kabul.

By Wednesday, Nilofar Ayoubi knew his name was on the Taliban list. He heard this from a friend – the same friend who had told him on Sunday that the Taliban were going door to door in the neighborhood to try to find women like him, the same friend who had warned him it was time. hiding. The women on the list were journalists, politicians, pilots, businessmen – all the same as having been talking about the rights of Afghan women loudly and continuously, on the internet with the IRL, for years.

Ayoubi is one of thousands of women who have made a living for themselves in Afghanistan over the past two decades, but with the fall of Kabul, their success and openness have hindered them. Although the United States has long championed the rights of Afghan women it would be a cornerstone In any peace alliance with the Taliban, that promise is far from over. While the Taliban are pushing for a record in the capital, Ayoubi and other women’s rights activists are on the verge of taking care of themselves.

Earlier in the day, Aug. 18, Ayoubi, 28, smuggled fashion girls to their homes from all over the city by car. It was good for the women to travel in the pockets, along with their male colleagues, who now work as social workers.

For Ayoubi, one of the first and youngest women in Afghanistan to build her own furniture company, the bad reputation was unrelenting; his group of friends and fellow fighters were constantly at odds with the place where the Taliban had set up a check. Seventy-two hours after the fall of Kabul, he said, he received word that his house and offices had been raided four times by armed men who asked staff and neighbors where they were coming from and their belongings.

At first, Ayoubi did not want to give up everything he had built up – his thriving business, his home, his family. But a few days ago, she was determined to take her three children to safety, away from the Taliban.

“He’s everywhere,” he told BuzzFeed News. “He learned about us from TV and television, especially those of us who spoke out about terrorism in the Doha peace talks.”

Rahmat Gul / AP

Taliban militants patrol the area of ​​Wazir Akbar Khan in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 18, 2021.

Ayoubi insisted on speaking on the record even though his life was in danger. He says: “I have said enough time to be part of the relief team, so talking now will not change anything. “I want to let the world know what’s going on here.”

A few weeks ago, before the Taliban took over Kabul, Ayoubi was on the roof of his house, singing with his neighbors, writing #AfghanLivesMatter. At the time, he was quoted by the French newspaper Le Monde as saying: “If the Taliban come to Kabul, they will burn down everything we have built in 20 years. My three children and maybe some clothes. “

Since the fall of the capital, women like Ayoubi have been left to fend for themselves and their families. Some of her friends are from Afghanistan. But women on the Taliban roster are walking on ropes where one miss could mean death. When the Taliban worked in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, women and girls were banned from education and forced to wear burqa outside their homes. They could not work at all, or leave the house without a male supervisor. Penalties for violating the code were punishable by death.

The document has been circulated via social networking sites and social networking sites for people who want to know how to get out of the country. The author, who said he worked as an advisor to the local government and requested anonymity because of the implications of the case, said the letter included public information on visas as well as security advice and travel arrangements. received from diplomats and other people in the country.

“People can offer tips, and I will verify their accuracy before I post,” the author told BuzzFeed News. “This information is widely available, but hidden. Access to information is a major barrier.”

But the document, which BuzzFeed News saw, also shows a clear picture of how it looks to address the political, operational, and personal problems of the Afghan people just trying to get to Kabul International Airport.

The document stated: “You must bring a small amount of goods, not the livestock.” “Only a small purse (such as a purse) is allowed, and this has a place limit – there have been times when the place is like that. hard no handbag has gone up. “

Shakib Rahmani / AFP via Getty Images

Afghan people have boarded a US military plane to leave Afghanistan, at Kabul military base on October 19, 2021, after the Taliban militant took over Afghanistan.

Getting to the airport is not easy. The letter advises people to arrive at Hamid Karzai International Airport before arriving at the Taliban before 9pm – but since the exit staff is on duty 24/7, the scheduled departure time may be reduced. So far, the document states, there are no flights from Afghanistan from anywhere other than Kabul.

“The US government has made it clear that it cannot guarantee that you are going to the airport: you have to prepare yourself,” it said.

Entering the airport requires displaying some of the most frequently stored papers on their mobile phones, so the document indicates that people print these required files and carry an external phone charger. “Your Airport Access Pass is your way of saving,” the document states.

Second to Kohsar / AFP via Getty Images

Afghan people have gathered on the sidewalk near the Kabul airport terminal on August 20, 2021, hoping to flee the country after Taliban troops occupied Afghanistan.

However, it warns that some of the information it provides may not be reliable, especially the list of names and organizations that provide humanitarian assistance.

The author wrote: “I have written some of the following, but I cannot be 100% sure that these works are true,” he wrote. “I do not recommend relying on these beneficiaries for the most vulnerable Afghan people: remember that anyone can set up these services and use them to hide your data, including the Taliban.”

Ayoubi said he did not know when to flee.

By Friday, he was hiding in a low-income area with his children, mother, relatives, and friends as his company’s “loyal employees” guarded the door and brought them food, he said. In the past, the men worked for Ayoubi at Niko Design, a thrift store that sells decorated lounge chairs, children’s beds, lawn chairs, and clothing made by Ayoubi – Maria Clothing, Maria Bride, and Maria Carpet. Afghan artificial handwriting ships around the world. Now, it is his final defense against the Taliban.

Ayoubi’s days are in short supply on Twitter to find updates, go online, search for the latest information on the safest way out of the country, and then cut off the internet and think about our “limited chance of survival,” he said. At the moment, he cannot prepare for much of the future, he said, but hopes to eventually leave Afghanistan.

“This is very different from the life that my children and I had,” Ayoubi said. “I made my life from scratch, and now we’re back in one place.” ●

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