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Throw a Lifeline to the Afghans Left Behind

2 0 0
21.09.2021

The day after the Taliban’s blitzkrieg reached Kabul, a terrified member of an Afghan religious minority texted me from just outside the airport gate. I’ll call her Fatima. She is Hazara, a long-victimized community due to its distinct ethnicity and differing version of Islam—Shiism—from the Sunni Taliban and Islamic State.

With the Taliban’s return, she was running for her life and pleading for help, hoping to reach the relative safety of the airport and escape with her husband and little sister. “Everyone is in trouble,” she wrote. “No one knows what to do and where to go. Myself and my family are in a very serious situation! We are shocked!”

I met Fatima—who did not want her real name used since she still has family in Afghanistan—in 2019 while serving in the U.S. State Department as a diplomatic envoy focused on religious minorities. Fatima had already lost loved ones to terrorist bombings targeting her community. I was impressed by her courage and fortitude, and we stayed in touch over the past two years.

The day after the Taliban’s blitzkrieg reached Kabul, a terrified member of an Afghan religious minority texted me from just outside the airport gate. I’ll call her Fatima. She is Hazara, a long-victimized community due to its distinct ethnicity and differing version of Islam—Shiism—from the Sunni Taliban and Islamic State.

With the Taliban’s return, she was running for her life and pleading for help, hoping to reach the relative safety of the airport and escape with her husband and little sister. “Everyone is in trouble,” she wrote. “No one knows what to do and where to go. Myself and my family are in a very serious situation! We are shocked!”

I met Fatima—who did not want her real name used since she still has family in Afghanistan—in 2019 while serving in the U.S. State Department as a diplomatic envoy focused on religious minorities. Fatima had already lost loved ones to terrorist bombings targeting her community. I was impressed by her courage and fortitude, and we stayed in touch over the past........

© Foreign Policy


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