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Afghan woman's new prison

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02.10.2021

In late August I wrote about two outstanding Afghan women who were struggling to escape Taliban pursuit. One had made it out of the country and the second was still hiding in Kabul.

Miraculously, Najlla Habibyar, a U.S. green card holder and U.S. aid worker, has now escaped to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, with her family. But her harrowing odyssey — and current plight — reminds us that the U.S. effort to handle Afghan evacuees has been nearly as chaotic as the exit from Kabul.

Legislation is pending in Congress to mitigate these problems, but it is unclear when or if it will pass. As Najlla’s story makes clear, that should be soon.

I met Najlla in late May at an exhibition in New York City of brilliantly colored Afghan carpets organized by the Kabul Carpet Export Co., one of the projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) that had real impact.

As Afghan staff director, she helped Afghan women weavers to set up their own businesses and sell directly abroad, rather than going through Pakistani middlemen who took the lion’s share of the profits. A well-known businesswoman, she was on the Taliban target list.

When the Taliban took the city, she went into hiding. “I tried to contact everyone, USAID, State, but finally got in touch with veterans from Digital Dunkirk,” she told........

© Olean Times Herald


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