Nafisa fled Afghanistan with her family two weeks ago, on the day the Taliban occupied the city where they lived. We meet her at the hotel where we are. In a closed and seemingly safe place. But even though most of her family is with her, she still does not dare to reveal her face. “I used to not cover my face when Afghanistan was not at war,” she says. “But when the Taliban took over Afghanistan I started covering my face, for the sake of my and my family’s security.“
“I came from Afghanistan 12 days ago because there was a war,” she shares. “The Taliban do not allow women to wear what they want. Women cannot work outside the home. I am an educated woman. I learned English and Russian, and I can not just sit at home. For me and anyone who worked with non.Muslim people it was especially dangerous to stay there.“
The Taliban has already deployed its men around Kabul airport today. “We do not want to see doctors and engineers leave the country,” they say, urging people to stay. But Perception bravely describes what they really think of people who dare to work in professions that are inconsistent with Sharia law. “I worked on a translation from Russian,” she describes. “I worked for a year on a TV channel as a translator. So it was dangerous for me.“
A Taliban spokesman said today that women would be able to continue their work, but shortly after that he recommended that for the time being, in order to maintain their safety, they should stay inside the walls of the house. Nafisa was also threatened by the Taliban: “Someone called my husband and said, ‘We know you have a beautiful son.‘ They said, ‘You must give us rice, meat, milk or money – otherwise we will punish you.‘”
At one point we notice a person looking at us from the outside and decide to close the curtain. This is not the first time. Since we got here we are under surveillance. We understand that not just so few stories about what is happening outside of Kabul across Afghanistan manage to go out into the world.
When Nafisa is asked why she agrees to speak on television, she replies: “It’s not easy, but the main reason is that I want people to hear me and know what the situation is right now in Afghanistan. I have no choice. I can not go back, but I turn to the UN for help. Us and they will transfer us, or they will accept my family to Canada or America or Germany or the UK. I have a visa valid for three months and the three months will pass very quickly. I am at a loss and need help. “
Afghan refugees are looking for a place for themselves. Many are still trying to get out of the country, and for those who have succeeded the future is shrouded in mist. Those who left everything behind are now reaching out for help. “I can’t imagine my two sons growing up in this company,” says Nafisa. “Any woman with children will understand me. I want them to help me and share this video for a better future, a future of peace, for my children and family.“