There’s a rainbow in the dark cloud over Afghanistan as one of the country’s first female mayors escapes the Taliban’s clutches.
Just over a week ago, I heard the story of 27-year-old Zarifa Ghafari — a woman who has survived three attempts on her life by the terrorist group. (Sadly, her father was not so fortunate.)
I wrote about her and grieved for her, knowing she probably wouldn’t survive the Taliban takeover. Learning that she managed to flee the country against all odds relieves me beyond description.
According to ITV, Ghafari made her escape from Afghanistan by hiding in the footwell of a car with her husband using a bag to conceal her head as they passed through Taliban checkpoints.
“I was really, really, really scared,” she told the outlet.
“My blood is not different to yours.”
Taliban tried to kill Zarifa Ghafari, one of Afghanistan’s first female mayors, three times. She managed to flee through Kabul airport to safety but is distraught at the prospect of the West abandoning the countryhttps://t.co/dq0BDLSUx2 pic.twitter.com/Rou7KSU4T0
— ITV News (@itvnews) August 25, 2021
After Kabul fell, Ghafari said she could do nothing more than wait for the radical Islamists to come and kill her.
“I’m sitting here waiting for them to come. There is no one to help me or my family. I’m just sitting with them and my husband. And they will come for people like me and kill me. I can’t leave my family. And anyway, where would I go?” she said on Aug. 15, according to iNews.
Now, Ghafari is safe in Germany.
She remains concerned that President Joe Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson might cut and run from Afghanistan, ITV reported. She fears a grim reality is in store for the people left behind once the U.S. and U.K. are fully withdrawn.
Ghafari offered a heart-wrenching message to both leaders.
“My blood is not different than yours,” she said.
“For now, it is about the safety of a generation. It is about the rights of a generation, of a nation.”
She said she longs to return to her homeland even amid her hopelessness for Afghanistan’s future.
“I really miss [Afghanistan],” a tearful Ghafari said. “I really miss my office. I really miss those women who were coming to me. I really miss those children who were coming to me, who were talking to me. I really miss that noise of Kabul.”
Ghafari spent her time in office working toward cleaning up her city and improving its infrastructure, iNews reported in July.
She has been a source of inspiration for women and girls who may not have the opportunity to receive an education, let alone hold public office.
But, for now, that progress is stalled — reversed, even.
“The tears in my eyes, it’s not because I’m weak. It’s not because I am giving up,” she said. “It’s just because of the emotions and feelings that I have for my country. I really wish I could return back as soon as possible.”
People like Ghafari are the ones paying for the botched U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. We cannot forget what Biden’s ineptitude has cost.