Indepth investigative journalist
1 August - 18 August 2021
Starting around the 1th. of August 2021 it seemed as if the world stood still
with the taliban sweeping over Afghanistan and taking power again from the
untill then ex-president Ashraf Ghani (who fled the country) and simultanously
also, 15 August 2021, took in Kabul and to finalize their job drove out the US
and UK forces and affiliates.
The international press had almost difficulties to keep up with the chances.
Cryfreedom.net, an online international magazine centered around the
international women's day and the atrocities against women, and relying a lot,
but not only, on international newspapers and broadcasters all of a sudden got a
blanc concerning the cryfreedom's topics.
But you and I know that I'm a radical feminist so I refused to give up my work
and moreso to started a new special titled 'Afghani women resisting' and to
write opinion articles about it and about the international women's day and the
atrocities against women in general because indeed it's only a matter of time
before I'll need and report about it when it happens, which it does already, to
Lucky me and being investigative I now have 2 sources that will help me a lot to
continue to inform you. They are:
- the Afghani journalist Zahra. S. Rahimi. and
- Rukhshana Media Afghanistan
Shukrah to both.
Afghani women resist 'again' the taliban.
The latter took over power of Afghanistan in 1995 but
it only lasted 'till 2001.
Now they think they have the total control over the
country again including the women, forcing them to obey to
the sharia,wear burqas and forbidding them again to get an education, whatever
the Taliban might say.
But they are making a big mistake 'again' and
among other mistakes:
Afghan women are underestimated and by and by
they are grouping in 'resistence cells' to fight
the oppression of the taliban and to show
how resilient they can be:
I followed different international media
below you can find the result from 18 August untill 28 August 2021:
THE WAY, TO FIGHT AT THE SIDE OF THE TALIBAN, AL QAIDA AND
ISKP-K (Afghanistan and affiliated with
FORCES WITH THEM).
Indepth investigative journalist
I'll go some time back first:
7 July 2021
By Emma Graham-Harrison in Kabul
<<Armed Afghan women take to streets in show of defiance against
Women in north and central regions of country stage demonstrations as
militants make sweeping gains nationwide.
Women have taken up guns in northern and central Afghanistan, marching
in the streets in their hundreds and sharing pictures of themselves with
assault rifles on social media, in a show of defiance as the Taliban
make sweeping gains nationwide.
One of the biggest demonstrations was in central Ghor province, where
hundreds of women turned out at the weekend, waving guns and chanting
They are not likely to head to the frontlines in large numbers any time
soon, because of both social conservatism and lack of experience. But
the public demonstrations, at a time of urgent threat from the
militants, are a reminder of how frightened many women are about what
Taliban rule could mean for them and their families.
<There were some women who just wanted to inspire security forces, just
symbolic, but many more were ready to go to the battlefields,> said
Halima Parastish, the head of the women’s directorate in Ghor and one of
the marchers. <That includes myself. I and some other women told the
governor around a month ago that we’re ready to go and fight.>
The Taliban have been sweeping across rural Afghanistan, taking dozens
of districts including in places such as northern Badakhshan province,
which 20 years ago was an anti-Taliban stronghold. They now have
multiple provincial capitals in effect under siege.
Even women from extremely conservative rural areas aspire to more
education, greater freedom of movement and a greater role in their
families, according to a new survey of a group whose voices are rarely
heard. Taliban rule will take them in the opposite direction.
<No woman wants to fight, I just want to continue my education and stay
far away from the violence but conditions made me and other women stand
up,> said a journalist in her early 20s from northern Jowzjan, where
there is a history of women fighting.>...
She said there were a few dozen women learning to use guns with her, and
despite their inexperience they would have one advantage over men if
they faced the Taliban. <They are frightened of being killed by us, they
consider it shameful...
For conservative militants, facing women in battle can be humiliating.
Isis fighters in Syria were reportedly more frightened of dying at the
hands of female Kurdish forces than being killed by men. (Link to
Peshmerga article by Gino d'Artali:
Read more here:
and here: rfel.org
November 12, 2016
By Radio Azadi
<<Afghan Women Take Up Arms Against The Taliban.
The leader of a fledgling women's militia in northern Afghanistan says
dozens of volunteers have joined the fight since a handful of women
recently took up arms to rebuff a Taliban attack on their community.
Women in the district of Darz-Aab, in Jowzjan Province, initially fought
alongside local forces to prevent the antigovernment militants from
overrunning the village of Shahtoot in late October.
Their ranks have since grown to as many as 45 women, locals say, many of
whom have sold livestock to buy guns.
Fifty-three-year-old Zarmina, the wife of a local police officer who so
far commands the female fighters, said she and the other women had no
<The number of police personnel was too small, so we had to take up guns
alongside our husbands,> Zarmina told RFE/RL's Afghan Service. <As the
Taliban attacked a police post, I put aside my scarf and fired from
different places. I had 21 bullets and killed seven Taliban,> she
Read more here:
That was some time ago but now that the taliban took over power again
the Afghani women, I'm convinced,
will not give up the fight to stand up for their rights!!
To proof my point of view I've been following the international media
and present you quotes and excerpts
from the most important articles followed by a link to the full article.
And no matter how fearfull they might be at this time but they are also
Gino d'Artali, radical feminist, founder and indepth journalist off and
INTERNATIONAL NEWS 18 August UNTILL 28 AUGUST 2021:
18 August untill 28 August 2021
Note from Gino d'Artali: Before you continue to read read this Al
Jazeera article, By Mohammed Haddad, 30 Aug 2021, first:
<<Infographic, Afghanistan's humanitarian crisis. The Taliban took over
Afghanistan on August 15, but its stunning military sweep of the capital
came after months of deadly fighting across the country, leaving
hundreds dead and more than half a million people internally displaced
start of the year.
In July alone, the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in
Afghanistan nearly doubled compared with the month before as 206,967
were displaced, according to the Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The number of displaced people is now more than 570,000 – nearly 80
percent of whom are women and children.>>
Read more here:
Since the taliban on 15 August 2021 took power again over the untill
then governing government and its president Ashraf Ghani I've been
intensively the situation and to start this special I will you my
opinion over the situation 'till today:
investigative indepth journalist
Cry Freedom .net
29 August 2021
Who has the Afghanistan trump card?
When the taliban swept over Afghanistan in a lightning summer offensive,
took control of the capital, Kabul, on August 15, and continues the
of forming its own government. The armed group waged a bloody armed
rebellion against the United States and Afghan forces for almost two
decades, leaving thousands of civilians and security forces dead.
The group, which follows its own strict interpretation of Islamic law,
was accused of carrying out atrocities against ethnic minorities and
curbs on women’s rights during its last stint in power (1996-2001).
But I'd say: a job half done is a job not done at all.
And I don't mean the taliban implementing the sharia in (Islamic law) in
general again, and burqas and hijabs especially aiming to rule over and
atrocities again against and over women 200 % again. What I mean is when
an armed force aims to take over the power of a country it has to think
and plan it very well.
And as far as I can see the taliban shot in their own foot where the
national bank and banks in general are very close to a total
before that since months wages have not been paid leading to 30 % of 40
million of the Afghaniare near starvation. No wonder they try to flee
the taliban and leave the country. At present the taliban are begging
skilled people not to leave because it desperately needs their skills
but what if
the taliban is ruling by terror and also has no cashflow to pay them?
And let's not forget the tribal violence all over the country,
especcially between the pashtus and the sunnis?
Also and not to forget, there are now 5 players with cards in their
hands: the taliban, isis, al qaida, isis k and isil-kp (affilliates of
isis and isil) and
not to forget: Pakistan. Because Afghanistan is very close to become a
pariah of Pakistan.
Only one question remains: who'll have the trump card?
Below you'll find and can read a number of extracts and quotes I
selected from articles and links to:
Al Jazeera ( Middle East ) The Women's Media Centre (USA) and The
28 August 2021
By Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska
<<International employers accused of abandoning Afghan staff.
Many international NGOs are accused of abandoning their staff as
thousands of Afghans try to leave the country.
Zarina* sits in her temporary Kabul shelter and her thoughts wander to
the days when she still had a chance to escape the Taliban rule. She
now be in Germany, in safety that her last employer GIZ – state-funded
development agency German Corporation for International Cooperation –
promised her in her contract. But 12 days after the fall of Kabul,
Zarina’s hopes for evacuation to Germany are fading.
<German soldiers going to the airport refuse to pick up GIZ’s local
staff. They only take those with German passports or visas. And our
did not process any visas for us,> says Zarina in a calm voice full of
<The German staff was evacuated immediately.>
Since the Taliban showed signs of overrunning Afghanistan in the first
weeks of August, foreign governments have started up accelerated
efforts to get their nationals and vulnerable Afghans out.
The deadline for the evacuations to end is the same as the deadline set
by US President Joe Biden to withdraw foreign troops from Afghanistan 20
years after removing the Taliban in a military invasion.
‘They cannot evacuate us’
But not all foreign employers have been willing to bring their staff to
safety. According to Zarina, a civil society adviser with GIZ, the
left approximately 2,500 local workers in Afghanistan, vulnerable to
attack from the Taliban.
<When Kabul collapsed, they started to make plans for our evacuation but
it never happened. I left my hometown [Mazar-i-Sharif] one week earlier
because we had a programme in Kabul. Other colleagues were transported
to Kabul with a charter flight but were told that the flight fare will
deducted from their salaries,> Zarina says.
<GIZ had said they were negotiating with the Taliban to find a safe
passage for us to the airport. But yesterday [Tuesday], they said that
cannot evacuate us until end of August and that they will take us to a
safe place with commercial flights later on. And that it may take
It’s unclear whether any commercial flights will continue operating
after the August 31 deadline.
Zarina, who worked on issues such as gender equality and
counterextremism, worries that she might be targeted by the Taliban.
Some international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), as well as
western journalists and activists with contacts in Afghanistan, have
their governments to evacuate local colleagues and people at risk.
The Coalition for Women in Journalism managed to evacuate 90
journalists, both male and female. Media agencies that had local staff
also sought to
facilitate the evacuation of their employees, though with mixed results.
‘Window for evacuation slowly closing’
Local UN staff cannot expect much assistance, either. As POLITICO
reports, while some 720 foreign employees have been offered evacuation,
3,000 Afghans working for the UN have been left behind without any
With less than a week to go before the August 31 deadline, the window
for evacuation is slowly closing and Afghans are facing growing
obstacles in getting to the airport amid threats from armed groups.
Veteran journalists Oksana Chelysheva and Shahida Tulaganova have joined
efforts to help their contacts out of the country, especially members of
ethnic minority groups who are in particular danger from the Taliban.
They have compiled a list of 33 journalists and activists and their
members but it is still unclear if the group will manage to pass through
the airport gates.
According to Chelysheva and Tulaganova, the group includes people who
used to work with British government-owned BBC and US Congress-funded
Radio Liberty, as well as an employee of the Swedish Committee for
Afghanistan, a development organisation that has worked in Afghanistan
for almost 40 years.
The Swedish NGO claims to have 6,000 employees in the country. All of
them have been left behind.
<The woman we have on our list contacted her employer, the Swedish
Committee for Afghanistan, asking for evacuation but they have washed
their hands. Shahida Tulaganova reached an agreement with the Danes, who
have been evacuating their people, that they will add [her] to their
evacuation list as long as Sweden sends an official request to Denmark,>
<But it has been impossible to reach the office in Stockholm.> >>
Read more here:
Read also this article published online by The Guardian on 26 August
<<‘I saw children falling down’: panic and despair in Kabul as time runs
Faced with crowd stampedes and Taliban reprisals, even those eligible
for travel to UK have begun to give up hope.>>
27 August 2021
By Osama Bin Javaid
<<Taliban planning ‘inclusive caretaker gov’t’ in Afghanistan.
Taliban sources tell Al Jazeera the government will include leaders from
all ethnicities and tribal backgrounds.
The Taliban says it is planning an inclusive caretaker government in
Afghanistan after the group toppled the Western-backed administration in
stunning sweep earlier this month.
Taliban sources told Al Jazeera that the caretaker government will
include leaders from all ethnicities and tribal backgrounds in the
Nearly a dozen names are being considered to be part of the new
government, sources said.
The duration of the caretaker government is unclear at the moment.
Afghanistan’s ethnic diversity has been at the centre of politics and
conflict in the country, with no single ethnic group enjoying a decisive
majority in the country of 40 million people.
The Pashtuns are Afghanistan’s biggest ethnic group, making up more than
42 percent of the population. The predominantly Sunni Muslim community
speaks the Pashto language and has dominated Afghan politics since the
Taliban sources also told Al Jazeera the caretaker government will have
an <amir-ul momineen> (commander of the faithful) to lead the Islamic
Emirate of Afghanistan.
They said a supreme leadership council has been convened to decide the
form of the future government and nominate ministers.
Key ministries up for nominations include the judiciary, internal
security, defence, foreign affairs, finance, information and a special
Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar is in the capital, Kabul, while Mullah
Mohammad Yaqoob, son of Taliban founder Mullah Omar, has travelled from
Kandahar for the initial consultations on government formation, the
Read more here:
Opinion Gino d'Artali: first of all at present no women are included!
And what really does not sound promising for the safety and lives of
<amir-ul momineen> (commander of the faithful).
27 August 2021
<<From: The Bottom Line
Should the US have stayed in Afghanistan longer?
Critics of the hasty exit from Afghanistan warn about long-term
implications for the United States and its partners.
Every year for 20 years, United States officials justified the war in
Afghanistan as worthy and winnable. But after the deadline to withdraw
was made, the same officials watched in shock and awe as the Taliban
retook their country within days.
Former national security adviser John Bolton and other conservative
critics of the Joe Biden administration argue that the US should have
Afghanistan indefinitely, and warn against making any deals with the
Host Steve Clemons asks Bolton what the US could ever hope to achieve
with a perpetual presence in Afghanistan.>>
Watch the Al Jazeera video here:
26 August 2021
<<‘I was born here, I’ll be buried here’: In Afghanistan to stay.
Why one Afghan woman refuses to leave her home – even in the face of
fear and uncertainty, as the Taliban resumes control.
On August 15, 2021, the Taliban took over Afghanistan’s capital city,
Kabul, and retook control of the country after nearly 20 years. Tens of
of people have since fled, fearing a possible return to the harsh rule
of the 1990s, when women were not allowed to go to school or work. But
some are determined to stay. Thirty-eight-year-old Nadima’s family fled
Afghanistan when she was a baby. As an adult, she returned. Now, despite
fears and uncertainty, she refuses to leave again. This is her story in
her own words.
I spoke to my cousins who are here in Afghanistan and have little girls;
they are really scared. It made me very emotional, but I am OK.
I am not going anywhere.
I am not going to f*****g leave under any circumstances.
I was born here, I will be buried here. I will tell you why. This
pattern of running away has to be broken. I cannot speak for everybody.
I tried to tell some of my foreign Afghans that we are here to stay and
they got so upset that they blocked me. It made me feel very alone.
My parents left Afghanistan in 1984 when I was one years old. They ran
away, desperately in pain. My mum has told me stories of how she went
through the mountains, running to Pakistan, with dogs running after them
and she had blisters on her feet. They did not eat for days. They were
scared, they even got robbed.
I was a baby back then, crying to be breastfed and my mum did not know
what to do to comfort me. I could never relate to the stories my mum
shared of that time, even though I could understand and empathise. I
would get sad for my mum because she would be so emotional.
It is hard to believe she was telling me these stories just 10 years
ago. The first time she shared her experience of fleeing to Pakistan was
when we first emigrated to Canada in 1999. We had been complaining about
our move from Dubai, which had been our home for 14 years.
I was shocked to learn the details of all that my parents had had to
endure. I was 16 then.
My mum smiled and said, <You guys are lucky, you came in a plane, you’re
getting food. Do you guys know my story, how I immigrated?>
And she was sad that her home was breaking once more. <I’m tired of
moving over and over again,> she said, telling my dad she will never
Now, I get to witness and experience what she went through all those
Read more here:
On the same page there's also an Al Jazeera audio.
26 August 2021
<<At least 13 killed in two blasts outside Kabul airport.
Taliban official says children among the dead, several other people
wounded in explosions in Afghan capital.
At least 13 people have been killed in two powerful explosions outside
Kabul’s international airport, amid a huge and chaotic evacuation effort
A <complex attack> on Thursday at the airport in Afghanistan’s capital
caused a number of US and civilian casualties, the Pentagon said.
A Taliban official and Russian officials confirmed at least 13 people
were killed in the explosions. The Taliban official said children were
dead and that several other people were wounded in the blasts.
The city’s main Emergency Hospital said on Twitter that at least 60
wounded people were transferred to their facility so far.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said one blast occurred near the airport’s
Abbey Gate and the other close to the nearby Baron Hotel. Two US
officials said at least one of the explosions appeared to be from a
<We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a
complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties,>
Kirby said on Twitter. <We can also confirm at least one other explosion
at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate.>
Sources told Al Jazeera that tens of thousands of people had been
waiting outside the Abbey Gate earlier in the day. The explosions came
after US officials and allies had warned people not to come to the area
around Hamid Karzai International due to the threat of an attack.
US officials strongly believe the Afghan affiliate of the ISIL (ISIS),
known as the Islamic State Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K), was behind
attack, a source familiar with congressional briefings on Afghanistan
A second US government source familiar with intelligence activities said
that while the US government is still investigating, the airport attack
has <all the hallmarks> of an ISKP attack. ISKP is opposed by the US and
Russian officials said two suicide bombers and gunmen had targeted
crowds massing near the Kabul airport.
There were chaotic scenes outside the Emergency Hospital as dozens of
cars and ambulances brought in the wounded including the elderly and
Family members seeking information about their relatives who were
reportedly wounded in the blasts were waiting anxiously outside the
Read more here:
25 August 2021
Dan Sabbagh Defence and security editor
<<Afghanistan: 2,000 people who worked for UK still to be airlifted
Unidentified number of rights activists, judges, LGBTQ+ advocates and
others also waiting to get out, sources say.
Two thousand Afghan interpreters and others who worked for the British
government are still to be airlifted out of Kabul by the RAF, defence
sources said, as the emergency evacuation reaches its final stages amid
rising fears of a terrorist attack.
There also remain an unidentified number of <special cases> – human
rights activists, judges, LGBTQ+ advocates and others – placed on a
special list by the Foreign Office waiting to get out, plus a small
number of single-nationality Britons.
A total of 10,291 people have been evacuated by the RAF since the fall
of Kabul, including 6,380 Afghans and 2,570 Britons and their
dependants, 341 embassy staff plus citizens of 38 other countries,
according to official figures.
The Ministry of Defence would not be drawn on how long the evacuation
would last – although defences sources suggested it would be as little
as 24 to 36 hours to allow the British military to pack up, followed by
the US before a final 31 August deadline.
Brig Dan Blanchford, commander Joint Forces Operations, said:
<Conditions on the ground remain very difficult at the moment with
harrowing stories of families and individuals having to fight through
some pretty desperate conditions to get to the airport.>
A little over 1,000 British paratroopers remain on the ground, who had
<seen and witnessed some truly heartbreaking scenes>, Blanchford added.
He said the RAF was able to fly up to 2,000 people in a 24-hour period.
UK ministers have repeatedly said it would not be possible to evacuate
everybody listed as eligible for resettlement, with Afghans facing
difficulties in making the journey to the hotel processing centre near
the airport, which is surrounded by a dangerous crush of people.
Insiders added that they believed there was a <high risk of a terrorist
attack>, with particular concerns over the risk of a suicide boming from
local Isis group, given the large numbers of people present. Extra
security measures, including concrete barriers, had been installed
Read more here:
24 August 2021
<<Female athletes from Afghanistan leave Kabul after being granted
Australian visas. Group of 77 included Afghanistan women’s football team
Players suffered beatings and had to pass Taliban checkpoints.
A group of 77 Afghan athletes and family members, including members of
the Afghanistan women’s national football team, youth team and women’s
football officials have left Kabul airport on a plane bound for
Australia but there is still a long way to go to ensure the safety of
many female athletes still at risk in the country.
In a furious 10-day period the players’ union Fifpro, a team of human
rights lawyers and other NGOs worked around the clock with the former
coaches Kelly Lindsey and Haley Carter and the team founder and former
captain Khalida Popal pursuing every avenue available to get them on
evacuation lists, secure the players visas and get into the airport
perimeter. They are continuing their efforts to ensure the safety of
Players were forced to take their chances running past Taliban
checkpoints, some suffering beatings and having to avoid gunfire to
reach the relative safety of the airport.
The Australian team of the former Socceroo Craig Foster and the human
rights lawyer and former Olympian Nikki Dryden – who were critical in
ensuring the safety of the detained Bahrain footballer Hakeem al-Araibi
in 2019 – and the director of Human Rights for All, Alison Battisson,
were some of the many that swung into action and Australia quickly
became the most viable escape route as Australian visas were secured for
all athletes and the Australian government called for them to report to
<We are grateful to the Australian government for evacuating a large
number of women footballers and athletes from Afghanistan,> said a
statement. <These young women, both as athletes and activists, have been
in a position of danger and on behalf of their peers around the world we
thank the international community for coming to their aid. <We would
like to pay tribute to the tireless, round-the-clock work of many people
including Khalida Popal, Kelly Lindsey, Nikki Dryden, Alison Battison,
Haley Carter and Craig Foster in helping them to secure safe passage out
Read more here:
23 August 2021
<<‘So scared’: woman describes effort to save relatives in Afghanistan.
Disappointment as much as fear and dread felt by members of Afghan
diaspora as they try to get family out.
A UK-based Afghan woman whose relatives worked with US and Nato forces
and international humanitarian organisations has described a frantic
from afar to try to protect her family amid fears they will be targeted
by the Taliban.
<I haven’t slept for a week or so … There are tremendous threats against
their lives,> said the woman, whose mother remains in Afghanistan along
with seven of her siblings. <I cannot tell you how much I have cried in
the last four or five days. Every single day.>
It is an undertaking echoed across the Afghan diaspora and beyond as
people scramble to save loved ones amid reports of the Taliban going
door-to- door as they search for people who work with the former Afghan
government or western countries.
<It’s not just my family. It’s millions of Afghans who are suffering,>
said the woman, who worked for the Guardian in the past, and whose name
not being published in order to protect her family.
One of her brothers is a military officer who worked in the intelligence
department. Another worked for US and Nato forces and most recently was
part of the cabinet of the former president Ashraf Ghani. A third
adopted brother is a pilot, who spent the last 20 years working with the
coalition forces. Most of them are in hiding in Kabul, as is a sister in
the country’s eastern Khost province. She spent years working for the
humanitarian organisations, USAid and Care International.
Efforts to have them evacuated have so far proven futile. <We’re
applying to every site that we can, but nothing,> the woman said. <No
responses, no news. They’re stuck.>
The fragile situation has taken a toll on her elderly mother,
exacerbating an existing heart condition. <My mother is worried to
death. I have two
nieces, nine and 14 years old, who are in the house with her.>
The Taliban’s swift takeover of Afghanistan has put women in the country
on edge, their concerns heightened by reports of some universities being
closed to women and gunmen entering workplaces to order women to return
Along with fear and dread is a profound sense of disappointment. For two
decades, the woman’s siblings had risked their lives in the hope of
carving out a country that would defy all that the Taliban stood for –
only to watch that hope evaporate in a matter of days.>>
Read more here:
23 August 2021
<<‘I am very afraid’: Women on the front lines of a new Afghanistan>
Reporter Mellissa Fung reflects on what’s at stake for women under
This was not the story we set out to tell.
We had been investigating the killings of women in Afghanistan since the
United States signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February 2020.
Such killings have been rising, with record numbers documented by the
United Nations: 219 women killed in the first six months of this year,
compared with 138 during the same period in 2020.
But it seemed very few people had been held accountable for these
In July, we spent two weeks in the Afghan capital, Kabul, learning about
the lives of those who had been killed, talking to women living in fear
and trying to get answers from the authorities.
But as we were putting our story together, the country unravelled, the
Afghan president fled, and the Taliban took over the presidential
The messages from friends started coming in on the morning of Sunday,
<The Taliban have taken over our neighbourhood.> <They are in our
mosque, telling us to wear the hijab if we go out.><I am at home. I can
gunfire. We just pray.>
Their desperation was palpable. Meanwhile, Taliban leaders were
officially assuring the world that there would be a peaceful transition.
Women in charge of their destinies.
I first came to know Afghanistan in 2006, embedding with the Canadian
forces in Kandahar five years after the deployment of NATO troops there.
always wanted to know how the women were doing, since the war had been
sold to us with the shiny promise of <liberating> them from the
Taliban’s brutal rule. Over the years, I witnessed tentative girls I met
growing into assertive young women, and assertive young women maturing
into confident professionals – women who knew they had control over
their own destiny.> >>
Read the article and watch the video she made here:
22 August 2021
<<Progress was always fitful. Many Afghan women felt unsafe before the
Misogyny continued to run through society behind the ‘new Afghanistan’
I am thinking about Farkhunda. You may have read about her six years ago
and felt outrage at the Afghan men who killed her. All that represents
Farkhunda now is a forlorn clenched fist emerging from a block of stone,
silently aimed at the sky near the place where she was publicly tortured
and murdered in 2015, a popular shrine in Kabul where pigeons circle and
hawkers and beggars approach crowds of pilgrims. Her “sin” was burning
pages of the Qur’an, a fake accusation aimed at her by the vendor of
charms whom she had criticised.
Farkhunda’s fate should also tell us that brutal corporal punishment
meted out by the mob on religious grounds, especially to a woman, is not
just the domain of the Taliban. More disturbingly, it should also tell
us that even in the <new Afghanistan> there remained a troubling
misogyny in some quarters of society. On that day, Afghan security
forces stood by and watched as people tried to rip the young woman
suspect the frustration of decades of being told to grudgingly accept
women’s rights in public was unleashed on one small crumpled body.
I was not surprised. In the many years I worked across Afghanistan, I
fought to meet women, fought to have projects with women, fought to
employ women, protected women, listened to broken women... I was almost
lynched, kidnapped, shoved around, verbally abused, belittled,
sidelined, sexually harassed and manhandled on more occasions than I
care to remember, by Afghans and “internationals”. All for being a woman
in a man’s world. All because women’s issues were considered irrelevant.
Farkhunda was probably emboldened by all the rhetoric on women’s rights
and thought she was in a brave new era where she could champion the
rights of people being taken for a ride by a religious hawker. She
thought she had a voice. She thought she was safe. But she touched a
didn’t understand that she was still in dangerous territory.
People gleefully recorded the torture inflicted on the poor girl. If
anyone has ever wondered about the atmosphere of medieval witch
burnings, they would have felt it on that day. The government had to
arrest people. They could not turn a blind eye to this egregious abuse
and killing of a citizen.
Some men were arrested but most were eventually and quietly squirrelled
out of prison as powerful men interceded on their behalf.
The struggle for women’s rights will not stop in Afghanistan for
decades, and maybe centuries, to come. Through all the years that
bodies congratulated themselves for gains in women’s rights, the horrors
faced by Farkhunda loomed in the shadows, just beyond the edge of the
award ceremony for a women’s rights defender or a project to teach girls
The assistance allocated to women has never been enough. The very few
women seen by westerners in their projects may have been safe, but the
non-literate woman who earned money at the sewing project would get a
fist in the face. The young girl who got into the police academy would
told to empty bins, make tea for the men and make her body available for
the sexual pleasure of men. The woman who was put in prison for
adultery, in the reign of Hamid Karzai or Ashraf Ghani, would be
terrified of leaving prison in a northern province because she feared
for her life and for her children’s welfare because there are no
well-paid jobs for illiterate women in rural hinterlands.
I was one of the many Afghans and foreigners who tried to make sure that
millions of girls would go to schools and, if lucky, high schools and
possibly university. But I had to face the truth that they would
struggle to find jobs because the economy is still dominated by male-run
Many of those girls would have come out of school, married and having
forgotten what little they learned.
Women and children bore the brunt of bad policies, corruption, lack of
rule of law and pervasive conservatism.
Even last year I was fighting with educated young Afghan men in my
victim assistance project. I wanted the widows we were helping to
assistance in their own right. The argument from them was that any male
relative, however distant, was a better choice because a grieving woman
was <not in her right mind>. Some even wheeled out the old excuse that
women are naqes ul aql, according to their interpretation of Islam,
roughly translated as having half a brain.>>
Read more here:
22 August 2021
<<The first time the Taliban took Kabul, 25 years ago they tortured and
killed former President Mohammad Najibullah, dragged his body behind a
truck through the streets, then hung it from a lamp-post. Last week,
with Kabul surrounded and a second victory almost inevitable, the
ordered their troops to hold back from entering the city, to ensure a
peaceful transfer of power. When they did march in, it was to a
their commanders offering an <amnesty> for anyone who had opposed them
over the last two decades.
They promised this so many times in the week that followed that at one
point, asked again about the commitment to bury the past, a spokesman
snapped at journalists: <Do you [want an] amnesty statement to be issued
Last Tuesday brought the extraordinary spectacle of the Taliban’s
spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid taking to the stage at the briefing room of
-built Government Media and Information Office. The previous week, when
they were still insurgents, the group had assassinated its director.
A man who had not shown his face for two decades was accepting questions
from the assembled Afghan and international media, broadcast live
around the world, with no filters or restrictions.
His talking points were clear. The amnesty (again), and a commitment
that aimed to address western governments’ most abiding fears that
Afghanistan would not revert to hosting groups that planned terror
attacks aimed at the west.
Foreign aid organisations were urged to stay, and for women there was
the promise they would enjoy their rights <within the limits of Islam>,
although he sidestepped further questions on what those limits might be.
Mujahid sounded as though he represented a different group from the
secretive, isolated fighters who swept to power and formed a pariah
government at the end of the last century. Then they forced women out of
education and most work, ordered them to wear the burqa and brought in
punishments including amputation and stoning.
Now he was taking questions from a female journalist wearing just a
headscarf on her head. Yet for all Mujahid’s smoothing words, at the
airport just 15 minutes’ drive away, crowds were still mobbing the
gates, so frightened of their new leaders they wanted to leave with
little more than the clothes on their backs.
The Taliban have for decades targeted not only the military and police,
but government officials, journalists, human rights workers and others
whose vision of Afghanistan differs from theirs.
So there is a broad section of people across the country who might be
covered by that <amnesty> offer but are now living in real fear for
They knew the Taliban’s long track record, and had seen reports from
areas they had captured in recent weeks and months, heard from relatives
cities that fell a few days earlier, about atrocities, intimidation,
sharp curbs on women’s rights.
In May there was a mass execution of soldiers as they tried to surrender
in the north, captured on video. In the south the next month, Taliban
militants carried out door-to-door searches and reprisal killings. For
years now in rural areas controlled by the Taliban, many girls’ schools
ordered to end lessons at the age of 12, and women were expected to wear
When they took over cities more recently some universities were closed
to women, others reopened but with classes segregated by gender. Gunmen
ordered women home from their work in banks, saying a male relative
could replace them. In some southern provinces, including Ghazni, music
banned last week, Afghan media reported.>>
Read more here:
Research Director at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding
22 August 2021
<<Is the Taliban’s treatment of women really inspired by Sharia?
And what does the current debate on the Taliban and women’s rights tell
us about Western (mis)perceptions of Muslims?
According to Human Rights Watch, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a
Ugandan rebel group whose stated goal was to create a state based on the
biblical 10 commandments, kidnapped and killed tens of thousands of
people in the 1990s and 2000s.
Their practice of abducting boys to train them as soldiers and girls to
force them into sexual slavery has been documented and put before the
International Criminal Court in The Hague, resulting in an arrest
warrant for Joseph Kony, the group’s founder, along with four of his
senior leaders, for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Although according to its leadership, the armed group was a Christian
army acting in God’s way, few op-eds have had to be penned arguing that
the LRA’s actions are not in congruence with normative Christianity. It
is just (rightly) assumed.
Unfortunately, a completely different set of rules is applied when it
comes to Muslims. The commentary surrounding the most recent Taliban
takeover of Afghanistan is but one example.
Reports have emerged that Afghan women are being forced to marry Taliban
fighters, quit their jobs and schooling, as well as endure public
flogging. Rather than call for expanding asylum programmes or even
exerting political pressure on the Taliban to reform, right-wing
politicians in Europe and the United States have instead weaponised the
ongoing instability in this war-torn country to score political points
against their Muslim citizens and immigration proponents.
As Muslim citizens of Western nations, we have yet again found ourselves
defending our community and faith against those wishing to exploit this
tragedy to propagate Islamophobic tropes – the same tropes that were
used to justify invading Afghanistan two decades ago.
We are now, as we were then, expected to clarify, condemn and
distinguish our faith from the actions of a militant group claiming to
act in its name, an unfair and exhausting demand not made of our
Christian compatriots, regarding any armed group or war criminal
claiming to act in Christ’s name.
Still, despite the double standard, we must take these moments as
opportunities to educate. So let me be clear: The normative teachings of
are antithetical to the Taliban’s reported treatment of women.The
teachings of Islam, in all their diversity, encourage a woman’s
spiritual aspirations absent an intercessor between her and God and
identity as first and foremost a servant of The Devine, whose rights
constitute a sacred covenant. In seventh-century Arabia, Islam’s advance
took a woman from being treated as property to a fully independent agent
who had control over her financial decisions and possessions and who had
the right to choose to marry and divorce.
What about women’s employment? From the first generation of believers,
women served as everything, from medical workers to warriors. For
example, Rufaida Al-Aslamia was a surgeon recognised by the Prophet for
her care for the wounded, her training of other women as nurses, and her
role in establishing the first field hospital for the community.
Nusaybah bint Ka’ab was known as the <Prophet’s shield> for defending
him in battle, even
when many men fled.>>
Read more here:
21 August 2021
Contributing editor at Jacobin Magazine.
<<Women’s rights and the US’s ‘civilising’ mission in Afghanistan.
The US imperial endeavours in Afghanistan and anywhere else in the world
have never benefitted women and their rights.
In July, former United States president and war criminal turned portrait
artist George W Bush bewailed the impending withdrawal of US troops from
Afghanistan, nearly 20 years after he ordered the invasion of the
Afghan women and girls, Bush warned, would suffer “unspeakable harm” on
account of the American departure – an ironic assessment, to say the
least, coming from the man who kicked off a <war on terror> that has
thus far killed more than 47,000 civilians (including women) in
Afghanistan alone and displaced millions.
To be sure, the plight of Afghan women at the hands of the Taliban has
from the get-go offered a handy pretext for US military devastation.
Long before the 9/11 attacks even transpired, US politicians,
celebrities and self-declared feminist activists had been pushing for a
women in Afghanistan that conveniently dovetailed with imperial
geostrategic interests. As if <B-52 carpet bombing>- to borrow the New
York Times’ terminology – has ever been good for female humans, much
less any other organism.
In November 2001, the month after the launch of Bush’s invasion,
then-First Lady Laura Bush charitably took to US radio waves to assure
that the <fight against terrorism> was simultaneously a <fight for the
rights and dignity of women>, and that the plight of Afghan women and
children was a <matter of deliberate human cruelty carried out by those
who seek to intimidate and control>.
Never mind that the same thing can be said of invading US forces who
carry out <matters> like bombarding a Doctors Without Borders hospital
Kunduz with a Lockheed AC-130 gunship, incinerating patients and
decapitating medical staff.
In her radio address, the first lady went on to righteously affirm that
<civilised people throughout the world are speaking out in horror, not
because our hearts break for the women and children in Afghanistan but
also because, in Afghanistan, we see the world the terrorists would like
impose on the rest of us>.>>
Read more here (also about the violation of womens rights and atrocities
in Argentina, Palestine and Lebanon, all carried out with a carte
from the USA):
20 August 2021
<<Desperate crowds, empty flights and rage in Afghanistan at governments
who failed to plan.
The US and UK say evacuations are gathering pace, but there seems to be
little sign of that in Kabul.
This is the reality of what has unfolded in Afghanistan this week, as
the Taliban has returned to govern the country after 20 years.
For Afghans who have spent all that time fighting within Afghan
organisations for the values the west claimed to promote, including
democracy and women’s rights, there is even less chance of getting out.
They have no foreign organisations to sponsor the visas they need to
I am devastated. It is failure upon failure, said Shaharzad Akbar, who
leads the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.
Her organisation has spearheaded the fight against both Taliban and
government abuses for two decades, and some of its staff have paid the
ultimate price; several of its activists have been killed in targeted
assassinations by the militants in recent years.
Not a single one had been evacuated from Kabul yet, she said. Some have
been offered flights, and tried to reach the airport, some – including
elderly and disabled people – have been twice, to no avail.
They were now poised, Akbar said, in a horrible balance of fear:
terrified of staying, and terrified of the consequences of trying to
<Right now when colleagues have flights, I have to convince them to go
to the airport. They have tried once, twice and they have failed and so
they dread going again,> she said. And the journey is only getting
harder, as the Taliban consolidate control of the city.
<Female heads of household, women travelling alone, they are getting
more and more harassment.>
Inside and outside Kabul there is growing rage and despair at the
failures of a crippled evacuation programme that in its current state
risks leaving most of the most vulnerable Afghans behind.
<What’s happening is a fiasco. We should all hang our heads in shame,>
said Rachel Reid, a human rights consultant working with Afghan
Read more here:
19 August 2021
<<From: 101 East
Afghanistan: No Justice for Women
With the Taliban back in power, 101 East investigates the fight for
justice for Afghanistan’s women.
The Taliban has seized control and fears for the women of Afghanistan
In recent years, women have been assassinated across the country,
targeted by those who believe they should stay at home and stay silent.
Dozens of female students were killed by bomb blasts at their school;
judges and journalists shot by gunmen; activists killed by car bombs.
With no one held accountable for many of the deadly attacks, the
killings are a stark warning of what the future could hold. 101 East
investigates the fight for justice for Afghanistan’s women as the
Taliban returns to power.>>
Watch a video here:
20 August 2021
<<Taliban conducting ‘targeted door-to-door visits’: UN document.
Confidential UN threat assessment report says group making door-to-door
visits of people who worked with US and NATO forces.
Excerpt from the above article:<<Women have also been assured their
rights will be respected, and that the Taliban will be <positively
from their brutal 1996-2001 rule.
But with thousands of people still trying to flee the capital on board
evacuation flights, the intelligence report for the UN confirmed the
fears of many.
The Taliban has been conducting <targeted door-to-door visits> of people
who worked with US and NATO forces, according to the confidential
document by the UN’s threat assessment consultants seen by the AFP news
The report, written by the Norwegian Center for Global Analyses, said
the group’s fighters were also screening people on the way to Kabul
<They are targeting the families of those who refuse to give themselves
up, and prosecuting and punishing their families ‘according to Sharia
law’,> Christian Nellemann, the group’s executive director, told AFP.
<We expect both individuals previously working with NATO and US forces
and their allies, alongside with their family members to be exposed to
torture and executions.>
‘Lives under threat’
The Taliban has denied such accusations in the past and has several
times issued statements saying fighters were barred from entering
It also insists women and journalists have nothing to fear under their
new rule, although several media workers have reported being thrashed
sticks or whips when trying to record some of the chaos seen in Kabul in
Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride, reporting from Kabul, said the UN report
contradicted the group’s assurances.>>
Read more here:
20 August 2021
<<As Taliban returns, Afghan influencers go dark on social media.
Prominent social media influencers go dark or flee, while residents and
activists scramble to scrub their digital lives.
Sadiqa Madadgar’s social media looked much like any other successful
young Afghan influencer’s until the Taliban stormed into Kabul and
upended her dreams.
The return of the group has sent a shockwave through Afghanistan’s
social media. Prominent influencers have gone dark or fled, while
residents and activists are scrambling to scrub their digital lives.
A former contestant on the reality singing competition <Afghan Star>,
Madadgar amassed a huge following with her stunning vocals and down to
earth, girl-next-door persona.
A devout Muslim who wears a headscarf, she spent her days uploading
videos that transfixed Afghan youngsters, winning her 21,200 subscribers
on YouTube and 182,000 followers on Instagram.
In one video, she giggles as she struggles to cut open a watermelon. On
another, the 22 year old is singing a haunting folk tune in a cafe while
friend plays guitar.
On a recent trip to the city of Kandahar – the Taliban’s birthplace –
she filmed herself sharing a pizza with girlfriends.
On Saturday, Madadgar posted her first overtly political post on
<I don’t like to express my pain online but I’m sick of this,> she
wrote. <My heart is in pieces when I look at the soil, my homeland which
destroyed slowly before my eyes.>
The following day, the Taliban seized Kabul, and Madadgar stopped
Millions of Afghan youngsters – in particular women and religious
minorities – fear that what they once put online could now put their
lives in danger.
Few can forget the first time the Taliban imposed its ultra-conservative
version of Islamic law on Afghanistan between 1996-2001.
Women were excluded from public life, girls could not attend school,
entertainment was banned and brutal punishments were imposed, such as
stoning to death for adultery.
Ayeda Shadab was a fashion icon for many young Afghan women with 290,000
followers on Instagram and 400,000 on TikTok. Each day, she would
model the latest outfits that were stocked in her upscale Kabul
In one of the most recent videos from her range, she posed in an
asymmetrical sheer ball gown as Dua Lipa’s infectious dance track
played in the background.
But she had no illusions about what a Taliban regime would mean for
fashionable women entrepreneurs like her.
<If the Taliban take Kabul, people like me will no longer be safe,> she
told German broadcaster ZDF in a recent interview. <Women like me who
don’t wear a veil, who work, they can’t accept them.>
She was so terrified of the Taliban’s return that she had to flee,
telling followers recently that she had relocated to Turkey.>>
Read more here:
19 August 2021
By Lizzy Davies
<<Ex-Afghanistan women’s captain tells footballers: burn kits and delete
Cycling federation and others echo Khalida Popal’s call for precautions
as country falls under Taliban rule.
High-profile sportswomen in Afghanistan have been urged to wipe their
social media presence and in some cases burn their kit as supporters
scramble to protect them from the Taliban.
Speaking from Copenhagen, Khalida Popal, the former captain of the
Afghanistan women’s football team, said female players should take
urgent steps to remove all trace of their sporting history.
<Today I’m calling them and telling them, take down their names, remove
their identities, take down their photos for their safety. Even I’m
them to burn down or get rid of your national team uniform,> she told
<And that is painful for me, for someone as an activist who stood up and
did everything possible to achieve and earn that identity as a women’s
national team player. To earn that badge on the chest, to have the right
to play and represent our country, how much we were proud.>
A source close to the country’s cycling federation echoed the advice,
saying female members had been told to stay at home and avoid posting on
social media at all cost.
<At the moment [they are] safe but it is my expectation that within some
months, like one or two months, I’m sure that nobody can guarantee their
life. These are real dangers,> the source said. <The freedoms they had
to ride a bike will be impossible … They are shocked and they are
The speed with which the Taliban had taken over control of Afghanistan
had scuppered any chance the women might have had to flee, the source
added. <Everything changed in 48 hours. Nobody was able to escape. If it
[had been] a week or something, we would have sent them to neighbouring
countries but it all happened on the same day, the airport is closed,
everywhere you see terrorists with guns.>
The worries came as some members of a girls’ robotics team –
Afghanistan’s first – arrived in Qatar after leaving Kabul on a
according to a statement on Wednesday by the team’s founder, the Afghan
tech entrepreneur Roya Mahboob.>>
Read more here:
19 August 2021
Women report Afghanistan is supported by
Women report Afghanistan
A reporter in Kabul
<<As I walk around Kabul, the streets are empty of women.
A few days ago the capital was full of women going about their business.
Now, the few that remain walk fast and full of fear.
Four days after the quick and unexpected invasion of Kabul by the
Taliban, the streets of the Afghan capital are almost entirely devoid of
The few women who are on the streets are wearing the traditional blue
burqa, Islamic garb that, while customary in Afghanistan, was not used
widely in Kabul until now. Many women are dressed in the long black
clothes commonly worn in the Middle East and Arab nations.
All the women are accompanied by a male guardian – a requirement that
the Taliban has imposed on women across the country. Many of these
women are out grocery shopping; a simple task that has become extremely
dangerous for them.
<All the women I see are accompanied by a male guardian – a requirement
that the Taliban has imposed on women>
It is hard to believe that only a few days ago, Kabul streets were full
of women going about their business, despite the encroaching security
risk as the Taliban swept across Afghanistan. Now, they walk fast and
full of fear, their eyes constantly darting for any potential
aggressions from the
Taliban fighters who patrol the once vibrant streets.
Since the Taliban’s occupation of Afghanistan, all educational centres,
schools, universities, government buildings and private offices have
closed. At about 10am, I decide to go into Kabul after staying at home
for three days. With my parent’s permission, I take a taxi. The driver
tells me that since the Taliban took over Kabul, the number of their
female customers has decreased. “Most of the women and girls who used
our services are those who live alone. Since they don’t have a male
guardian, now they can’t even leave the house,” he says.
On the city streets, there are no law or security officials; no police
or traffic authorities who once provided a semblance of order. One
Kabul says he witnessed the Taliban driving police cars against the
traffic in the middle of the road at high speed.
Pol e Sorkh, an area famous as the cultural centre of the young and
educated generation of Afghanistan, is no longer lively. Roads and
pavements are empty, except for a few sad and depressed-looking men who
walk the streets out of boredom.
Laila Haidari, the owner of Taj Begum restaurant, wrote on her social
media page: <The world changed for us for ever. Taj Begum is no more.>
She, along with many businesswomen, closed her restaurant after the fall
of Kabul. Another popular restaurant a few hundred metres away, also run
by women, is closed. Those restaurants and cafes in Kabul that remain
open have no female employees or customers. All beauty salons across the
city are closed, but male barbershops are open.>>
Read more here:
19 August 2021
Global development is supported by
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
By Tracy Mc Veigh
<<Joe Biden delaying the exit of American forces from Afghanistan by
just a month could have made a significant difference to the outcome of
continuing peace talks with the Taliban leadership, according to one of
Fawzia Koofi, an Afghan politician and women’s rights activist, said the
chaotic withdrawal undermined all leverage that the US and the Afghan
government had had with the Taliban at the talks in Qatar.<Afghanistan
is the victim of back-to-back mistakes,> she said.
From her home in Kabul, Koofi, who has been the subject of two
assassination attempts, said: <President Biden could have delayed this
to wait for a political settlement – for even just another month, just
get the political settlement first. They could have come to a deal.> She
said the abrupt departure had needlessly put many more people at risk.
<We all want international forces to leave>, she said. <It’s not
sustainable or logical from any point of view to have a foreign force
protecting your country, but this is so untimely for the US to have
chosen now, in the middle of negotiations and before we get a
<If the Americans were to stick to their political leverage, pressing
the Taliban and using all sources of pressure against them, then I think
would have come to a negotiated settlement.>
She said the lifting of UN travel sanctions, enabling the Taliban
leadership to be in Doha for talks, had also been poorly managed and had
them to garner support. <They used the travel to strengthen their own
position; they went to China, Russia, Iran [and] Turkey to bolster their
support and enjoy the standing and the position they want. <That is why
I think the world must watch the situation unfolding very carefully. To
ensure there are no blank cheques as they ignore human rights.>
A former member of parliament in Kabul and the first female
vice-president of Afghanistan’s National Assembly, Koofi said she did
not want to flee
abroad despite the high risk she faced, but that she feared greatly for
Afghan’s women and girls.
<Women feel abandoned; men feel abandoned; women feel betrayed. World
leaders were not honest in what they said.>
She said she still felt hope for women in the country. <Women are
resilient and can still be the agents of change in Afghanistan. They
contribute to a better Afghanistan, to help build their country, and
it’s different this time.
<They are able to do things better. They are not part of the destruction
of their country, but part of the construction of their country. They
<Yesterday in Kabul, there was a demonstration, just 6 or 7 women, but
it shows how women will raise their voice. And I think they will, to
bring the world’s attention to what is imposed on them. Women just want
equal rights and respect.> >>
Read more here:
18 August 2021
Ali M Latifi
Note from Gino d'Artali: The below are excerpts/quotes from the article
concerning the women:
<<Kabul, Afghanistan – For the last three days, Yasna Haqparast has been
standing outside Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport with her
husband and two children.
Each day, as they wait by the divider between the airport and the Stars
Wedding Hall, Haqparast and her family hear the sounds of gunfire as
members of the Taliban shoot round after round into the air, trying to
disperse the hundreds of families gathered outside the shuttered
...Haqparast and her family had fled the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif,
one of the last urban centres to fall to the Taliban last week, and were
hoping to head to Canada on Sunday evening. When they got to the airport
though, they found themselves face-to-face with a calamity.
<There were rushes of people, everyone pushing up against the other,>
Haqparast said of the thousands of people who had crowded around the
airport the night President Ashraf Ghani fled and the Taliban arrived in
the capital, Kabul.
Sources told Al Jazeera that the airport has sustained serious damage
that will require some time to repair. They said security scanners were
broken as a result of the sea of people running past them, and that the
inside of the international terminal and the gates are also in need of
reparation. It wasn’t just the people desperate to board commercial
flights to Dubai and Istanbul, or private evacuation flights to the
United States and the United Kingdom, that were amassing around the
airport – there were also looters.
Fahim, a government worker who was trying to board a flight to Istanbul,
said the impact of Ghani’s departure was immediate.
<As soon as they heard he left, everyone left their posts,> he said of
people ranging from government ministers to police in the city,
including near the airport. He said thieves took advantage of the chaos
<They would steal the luggage from your hands,> both Fahim and Haqparast
Haqparast said in the mad dash to manoeuvre through the crowds rushing
through the many checkpoints and the thieves, people lost track of their
belongings. <We were running so fast that what didn’t get stolen somehow
just fell from our hands and our pockets.>
She said that her family’s documents, passports and money all fell
somewhere on concrete pathways leading to the international terminal.
But she said the worst part of the ordeal was seeing the horrific scenes
that have gone viral on social media, including video footage that
appeared to show young men grabbing ahold of a US military plane before
plummeting as it ascends into the air.
With no money to go back to Mazar and without their documents, Haqparast
said her family is forced to sleep <on the dirt> just outside the
airport until it reopens.
However, with no tickets, passports or visas, even once the airport
returns to business as usual it will be difficult to gain access.
Standing only a few feet from Haqparast is a young man in a white piran
tomban and a black New York Yankees cap. He smirks in disbelief as a
Taliban member pushes back a crowd by flailing a plastic pipe around.
Trying to avoid the rush of people running from the Taliban fighter’s
pipe, the man, in his 20s, didn’t give his name, but said that he had
previously worked for the Canadian Special Forces.
He said he too, was bound for an evacuation flight, but has been stuck
outside the airport for days.
But he, like Haqparast, saw a sharp contrast between himself and the
hundreds of people trying to pass the roundabout and walk into the well-
guarded airport, as well as the hundreds more who are posted up outside
a lavish wedding hall across from the airport entrance.
<I would say 90 to 95 percent of these people don’t have documents,> he
said agreeing with a claim made by Haqparast.
Haqparast is especially angered by reports that people without any
documents, including passports, were able to board planes and leave the
<It’s not fair, they are taking the rightful places of desperate
people,> she says of the men, women and children who have been crowding
near the airport since Sunday.>>
Read the whole article here:
Note from Gino d'Artali:
Read also this article with this header
<<Taliban fights trust deficit with PR blitz.
The Taliban has projected a moderate image since they retook power on
Sunday, but people are still sceptical.>>
Read it here:
17 August 2021
By Zaheena Rasheed and Arwa Ibrahim
<<Taliban says won’t seek revenge, will respect women’s rights.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says group want peace, will respect
women’s rights under Islamic law.
The Taliban held its first official news conference in Kabul since the
shock seizure of the city, declaring on Tuesday it wished for peaceful
with other countries.
<We don’t want any internal or external enemies,> the movement’s main
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, said.
The spokesman asserted that the rights of women will be protected within
the framework of Islam.
Read more here:
17 August 2021
<<Women’s rights will be protected: Taliban spokesman
Zabihullah Mujahid asserted that the rights of women will be protected
within the guidance of Islamic law.
<The women are going to be very active in the society, but within the
framework of Islam,> he said in response to a question from an Al
As quoted here:
Note from Gino d'Artali: What the spokesman really says is that the
women must obey the sharia and the moral and religious police and wear a full body
covering burqa again and also that girls will not be allowed to school,
highschool or univerity. (remember Malala Yousafzai's words
pencil, one book, one teacher>? Read more here:
18 August 2021
<<I am an Afghan woman working for a western NGO in Kabul. I feel
In the past I thought that, if worst came to worst, the NGO would
protect me. Now I think they have forgotten me.
I am an Afghan woman in my 20s, living in Kabul. I have five sisters. My
oldest sister completed elementary school. The second one is a midwife,
my third sister is doing her PhD. My younger sister is a film-maker. And
my youngest sister, she is a high school student and a member of a
volleyball team. And I myself am doing my bachelor in one of Kabul’s
universities. Although my parents are uneducated they have tried their
best for their children to earn an education. I have been working for a
western NGO for two years advocating for women and working towards a
stable, sustainable and equal society. When I heard the Taliban was
taking over, I was worried about my future and about every single
Afghan’s future, especially women and youth. It was a sad moment to
think we women will return to the 1990s, and will live behind the closed
doors and Burqa.
I am also frightened about what will happen to me. Because I work at a
western NGO, my colleagues and I thought that we would be helped. But
when we asked our foreign boss for assistance, she said that nothing
will happen to us and she will stay here with us, and she refused to
refer us for any visa.
When I heard about Taliban taking young girls and forcing them to marry
their soldiers, I was worried for my family and me and so shared my
concerns with a western women’s rights activist in Afghanistan to get
help. She said no, I can’t help you. You can get a pretend husband, she
said. It was so sad to hear this from a feminist. She didn’t explain why
she couldn’t help me. It was as if it wasn’t serious for her.
For the past two days, I haven’t left my house. I don’t even go near my
window. I feel like a prisoner. I have lost so much freedom already, and
I fear I will lose even more. When we were evacuated from our office,
some of my male Afghan colleagues joked saying, ah, it’s the last time
we will ever see you again! Now, we will have to get permission from
your brother to see you, and he will say no! They found it funny. They
thought life will stay the same for them, but will change for me. They
Many men think that way. The day that I left my office for the last
time, a man on the street approached me and said it’s my fault, the
women – they are becoming too liberal, and too shameless, so that the
Taliban have come to discipline them. He said he’s not scared, since
Taliban has not come for men, but women.
It has been years that my sisters and I are working to contribute to our
society and make our future and our children’s future in Afghanistan
Leaving was not an option before, as we did not want to leave our
country. But now that we don’t feel safe, we have to make it an option.
It is sad to think about seeking refuge, but we must. I know what it’s
like to be a refugee; to be homeless and face discriminations, to be
dirty Afghan. That’s what we experienced 25 years ago, when we escaped
the war in the 90s and briefly lived in Iran.>>
Read more here:
18 August 2021
<<One women's story:
On August 15, the Taliban took over the Afghan capital of Kabul, entered
the presidential palace, and declared an end to the 20-year war. But
before that declaration, as the armed group rapidly advanced throughout
the country, we spoke with Pashtana Durrani. She’s an Afghan activist
who was witnessing it all first-hand. In this episode of The Take, we
hear her story.>>
Click here to hear her story:
Pashtana Durrani (@BarakPashtana), founder and executive director
of LEARN Afghanistan
18 August 2021
<<Afghan girls return to school in Herat after Taliban takeover.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says the group is ‘committed to
letting women work in accordance with the principles of Islam’.
Girls wearing white hijabs and black tunics are streaming into
classrooms in the western Afghan city of Herat just days after the
As the school opened its doors, the students scurried down corridors and
chatted in courtyards, seemingly oblivious to the turmoil that has
engulfed the country in the past two weeks.
The scenes – which many feared would be banned under the Taliban – were
filmed by an AFP cameraman this week, just days after fighters from the
armed group took the city following the collapse of government forces
and local militias.
<We want to progress like other countries,> said student Roqia.
<And we hope the Taliban will maintain security. We don’t want war, we
want peace in our country.>
With its close proximity to the Iranian border, the ancient Silk Road
city of Herat has long been a cosmopolitan exception to more
Women and girls walked more freely in the streets, attending schools and
colleges in huge numbers in a city famed for its poetry and arts.
Its long-term future remains uncertain, however.
Under the hardline interpretation of Islamic law the Taliban imposed
when they controlled Afghanistan in the 1990s, women and girls were
denied education and employment.
Full-face coverings became mandatory in public, and women could not
leave home without a male companion.
What lies ahead?
During the Taliban’s last rule, public floggings and executions,
including stoning for accusations of adultery, were carried out in city
What lies ahead for women with the Taliban back in power remains
Publicly, the Taliban are attempting to push the narrative that they
have moderated some of their more extreme positions, with their
spokesman late on Tuesday announcing an official pardon for <everyone>
involved in the war.
During the group’s first official press conference in Kabul since
retaking power, Zabihullah Mujahid said the group was <committed to
letting women work in accordance with the principles of Islam>.
Asked what the difference was between the movement overthrown 20 years
ago and the Taliban of today, he said: <If the question is based on
ideology and beliefs, there is no difference… but if we calculate it
based on experience, maturity, and insight, no doubt there are many
<The steps today will be positively different from the past steps,> he
Still, people have been entering public life cautiously, with women
largely absent from the streets of Kabul and men trading their Western
clothes for more traditional Afghan garb.>>
Read more here:
18 August 2021
<<The plight of women helped justify war in Afghanistan. Now they have
been abandoned. Female doctors, journalists, police officers and
politicians face acute danger from the Taliban.
It was one of the worst phone calls I’ve ever received: a friend in
Kabul calling on Sunday afternoon to say that armed men had just visited
house. Her voice was shaking to the extent that she sounded as if she
was gasping for air. The men had intimidated her and left, and she had
fled to a friend’s house to hide with her children. She didn’t know when
they’d return, if they would find her, or when it would be possible to
relocate again to somewhere farther away. I have never heard someone
sound so scared.
She begged for help to escape the country; I promised I would keep
trying. But options were closing all the time. Earlier that day, through
charity, I’d managed to get my friend and her children booked on to a
flight to a third country. The plan was that they’d get to safety and
continue to look for a more permanent relocation. It was a brief ray of
hope during a dark few days. But within hours of the booking, all
commercial flights out of Kabul were cancelled.
Like me, my friend is a female journalist in her 30s who has worked in
the media for her whole adult life. There the similarities end. For my
working as a journalist in Kabul has led to death threats and
intimidation, long before the recent US withdrawal and the chaos of the
past few days.
When I first got to know her in 2019, she confided that she was being
threatened by the Taliban and was afraid to continue with her work. But
continue she did. Over the last year, as the Taliban gained more ground
across Afghanistan, the risks intensified. She was followed home from
More than once, an unfamiliar vehicle tried to crash into her car.
As the situation in Afghanistan deteriorated in recent months, she was
desperate to leave the country. In early July, officials in the Biden
administration said they were <considering> 2,000 expedited visas for
<vulnerable women>, including journalists, politicians and activists,
who might be targeted by the Taliban after the withdrawal. My friend
asked me to help her find more information. I searched for details, but
even as a native English speaker and a person who finds things out for a
living, it was difficult to find any clarity on this proposal, or indeed
on any other legal routes by which Afghan journalists could seek
resettlement. As it happened, the scheme for vulnerable women never
This is a particular outrage because women in Afghanistan have long been
used as a political talking point in the west; the protection of Afghan
women was a key justification for invasion and a reason for western
forces staying there. I was just 14 when the 9/11 attacks took place and
Afghanistan was invaded, yet I vividly remember the proliferation of
images of Afghan women – either brutalised, their noses or fingernails
cut off, or shrouded completely, their blue burqas a symbol of the
oppression that Bush and Blair were purportedly seeking to overthrow.
Then, and since, the position of women was used as a marker of cultural
progress, setting up the world into distinct categories: good versus
evil, civilised versus barbaric.
Take this comment from George W Bush’s farewell statement in 2009:
<Afghanistan has gone from a nation where the Taliban harboured al-Qaida
and stoned women in the streets to a young democracy that is fighting
terror and encouraging girls to go to school.>
Yet what now for those girls who went to school, who took on roles in
politics, journalism, activism, sports or other areas of public life?
Over the past few years, as foreign military forces left Afghanistan,
female police officers, journalists and doctors have been targeted and
killed. It is no surprise that the situation has worsened so drastically
now. Back in April, Human Rights Watch warned that female journalists
faced a particularly acute threat: <Female reporters may be targeted not
only for issues they cover but also for challenging perceived social
norms prohibiting women from being in a public role and working outside
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