The Voice of an Afghan Woman
October 7, 2021
Interview with a young woman recently evacuated to the United States of America
How long have you been in the US?
It has been more than a month that I am living in a military camp inside the United States. We have a
good life here, free of the fear of war and violence.
How is life in a refugee camp?
Again, we have a good life here because we are free of fear. We have good food, good shelter and specially we Afghan women, feel respected and admired. There is also a certain level of anxiety and restlessness because everyone is worried about the families and friends that were left behind in Afghanistan.
What were your expectations before coming to the refugee camp?
When we left our country, we intended to reach the United States at some point, but we were not able to know if we were really going to get to the United States or not because we traveled through more than 4 countries during our journey. As we landed here, we thought that we might go to live with some relatives in the United States, however we were transferred to the camp.
A person looking for political asylum seeks specifically what?
At first, everybody wants to seek shelter in a good and safe country but, those who seek political asylum in a foreign country must work and cooperate with the government or any other international organization which can put in real danger their life in the host country.
How do you think the United States government will help you settle?
The United States is supporting us with housing, education, money, health insurance and job opportunities. They have been very helpful and hospitable. Everyone is treating us in a very good manner and is trying to help us settle in the United States.
What are your prospects for your future life in the United States?
United States is one of the most powerful countries in the world and I am sure life here will be great, because here I can have the possibility to study and improve my level of education, and also there are plenty of good job opportunities. Furthermore, I feel safe here, I don’t feel fear, and that is the most important thing. But as an Afghan I cannot disconnect myself from what is happening in my country, specially the precarious and miserable conditions of life of my fellow countrymen. In that sense, it is hard to live here because I will always bear in mind these questions and problems. Here I live free, but my biggest wish is to see and experience the taste of freedom in Afghanistan once more.
Do you want to stay in the US or do you plan to move somewhere else or even return home?
My heart is beating for my country, and I eagerly want to go back, still there is no way back home, at least for now. Once I have my green card I will travel to other countries and then I will seek and look for new opportunities but for now, I do not have a decision about my future.
What does it mean right now to be a young woman in Afghanistan?
To be honest being a woman in Afghanistan feels like living in a cage, because of the Taliban rule over
the country. They would never want a woman to live free or to be fulfilled. Women not only are seen as
“second-class” society members, but they are treated as slaves, always subject to the will of men.
What are your limitations as a woman in Afghanistan?
Being a woman in Afghanistan, specially in remote areas, is hard because women are not allowed neither to have access to education nor a good job. Women are not allowed to walk alone in the street, they cannot marry someone of their own choice and even worse, some women are prohibited to know their own rights. This applies mostly to the poorer areas and families of Afghanistan. In most educated and rich families, women can actually have a job and choose how they want to live their lives.
What change would you like to see in the future for your country?
Simply, as any Afghan would wish, I would like to have a free country. A country free of injustice, free of
war and free of foreign and despotic ruling, whether it is the cruel Taliban regime, or other occupiers
including neighboring countries. We hate uneducated Mullahs.
Do you think International Organizations should intervene in the situation in Afghanistan?
Yes, of course. All educated and informed Afghans wish that International Organizations should
intervene in our country given the current situation it faces. Yet these organizations are meeting the
Taliban violence with passive action and in a sense, some inertia because they believe that the Taliban,
as a group, have changed. I can assure that the Taliban didn’t change, they are even more unjust and
cruel than before. We want a more affirmative action against the Taliban. The world shouldn’t stand so
“calm” against their violence.