The 29-year-old woman was getting ready to attend a seminar at a school in Kabul on Sunday when she received a phone call with the news: The Taliban had entered the capital.
“I was just crying and I told my husband that now, what will happen?” said the woman, who works in the education sector and asked not to be identified for her safety. “I took my phone and I kept calling my sisters and my relatives … we just contacted many people (asking) how to go, how to leave the country.”
In the end, she decided to go to her parents’ house for safety. On the taxi ride over, she watched the city descend into chaos outside the window, with terrified people everywhere “trying to find a safe place for themselves.”
“I just saw these Taliban, (they were) like wild animals in the streets with their dirty long hair,” she said. “They were just staring everywhere, and they were holding guns on their shoulders.”
Before the Taliban’s takeover, she was able to travel alone, hold a job and have an independent source of income. “But now I feel like I am in a jail,” she said. “I can’t do anything, and I am scared (of) when the Taliban will come to my home and when they will shoot me.”
The Taliban have assured the Afghan and international communities that they will allow women to continue studying in schools under a new “Afghan inclusive Islamic government.”
But, the 29-year-old said, after the Taliban’s bloody and oppressive former regime, “I cannot trust a person who killed many innocent people. How can we trust them?”
Even though they had watched the Taliban launch its nationwide offensive with fear and trepidation, nobody expected the nation to fall so quickly and completely — or for the Afghan President to flee and leave his people to fend for themselves, she said. What’s left is a sense of surreality and despair.
“We just (feel) like we are dead bodies, but we are moving,” she said.
Afghanistan latest news as Taliban take charge: Live updates