Aryana Sayeed: Afghan Pop Star Describes ‘Horrific’ Escape From Kabul, Says ‘The World Has Failed Us’

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Aryana Sayeed: Afghan Pop Star Describes ‘Horrific’ Escape From Kabul, Says ‘The World Has Failed Us’


An Afghan pop star and activist told Sky News about her “horrific” escape from the country, saying it was a miracle she was able to leave and that she feels “the world has let us down”.

Aryana Sayeed, who has used her international fame to amplify calls for women’s rights and has 1.4 million Instagram followers, said fleeing was not easy because she is such a well-known face in her homeland. .

She called the ongoing crisis after the Taliban takeover a “disaster” and said she “did not believe a word” of the hardline Islamist group’s pledges to uphold the rights of women and girls; when they were in power in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, women were effectively placed under house arrest because they were not allowed to work or study.

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Sayeed shared the photo with her 1.4 million Instagram followers as she ran away. Photo: @ aryanasayeedofficial / Reuters

The singer also expressed her frustration and anger that despite the lives lost in the conflict in the country, triggered by the September 11 attacks, they now appear to be “in the same place” as 20 years ago.

“I had a very horrible experience trying to leave Afghanistan and escape,” Sayeed told Sky News.

“It was not at all easy for me because I am a well-known face and also the fact that I have been a women’s rights activist and have spoken openly against the Taliban for many, many years now. . So I was a direct target.

“I am very grateful, but my heart goes out to all the women, children and millions of people who remained in Afghanistan, and they have nowhere to go. “

Sayeed was originally booked on a flight out of Kabul on August 15, but the trip never took place.

“The plane we had booked on was packed with thousands of people and [there were] people with guns inside, ”she said. “The next day, we tried to come to the airport, same story, thousands of people, children who were crying. It was a disaster, absolutely disastrous. “

The singer, who has a British passport, was finally able to escape a few days later with her fiance Hasib Sayed, and spoke to Sky News from Los Angeles. She said she was “one of the lucky ones”.

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The star used her platform to speak out on women’s rights and denounce the Taliban. Photo: Sherzaad Entertainment / Reuters

Recalling the time the Taliban spent in control, Sayeed said that “what they did to women in Afghanistan 20 years ago was … horror” and that she thinks they say they will be. different this time “just to be recognized by the world”.

She continued, “What is the guarantee that once recognized they will keep their word? They’ll just turn back to who they were – or who they are. I just don’t believe a word.

«JE hope than what they say, they will actually act on it. And I hope the world, if they come to an agreement with them, I hope they will hold them accountable for what they say right now. “

On Tuesday evening, Boris Johnson said the G7 group of nations had agreed on a “road map” for future engagement with the Taliban.

Sayeed told Sky News that she would like to ask world leaders “What was the reason the world went to Afghanistan?” ” in the first place.

“If we try to remember 20 years ago, they went to Afghanistan saying that we are trying to get rid of Al Qaeda and that we are going to get rid of the Taliban. But 20 years later, we’re back to the same place and nothing has been done.

“Although American soldiers lost their lives in Afghanistan, British soldiers were sacrificed in Afghanistan. And after spending millions and billions of dollars in Afghanistan, nothing has been done.

“I can’t believe they would leave us and go, just like that. It’s really shocking to me. ”

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