Farah’s Story

Farah’s story is one of extreme endurance and persistence. Her ambition and passion for women’s rights and freedom in Afghanistan is the exact thing that made her a threat to the Taliban. Before the Taliban’s regime, Farah was an ambitious student at Kabul University, was very active on social media, and was also working whenever she had extra time. She loves people and is extremely extroverted, which is why her life in Kabul was filled with fun, laughter, and happy memories with good friends – up until August 2021. On the morning that the Taliban invaded Kabul, Farah was getting ready for the day when her lecturer called and told all the girls to flee the dormitory immediately.

“Everything happened in 10-minutes. We left most of our belongings. Everyone was running and shouting, and when we went outside there were no buses or taxis available.”

During their escape, Farah came across several people being beaten, was attacked by Afghan men for not wearing a hijab and was heartbroken to witness how quickly Afghanistan transformed back to the way it was 20 years ago.

For five months Farah fled the Taliban’s grip by living in different safe-houses and did not leave unless she absolutely had to.

“We did not see the sun for days at a time, because we were hiding in dark rooms.”

During that time, Farah spent almost every minute communicating with different people online, joined chat-groups to gain information, to find a way out of Afghanistan. “One night we found out that an agent for the Taliban had come into our chat groups but acted like a girl, he was taking note of the girls who were opposing the Taliban the most. The Taliban then called us and threatened to capture us.”

All hope seemed to be lost, but Farah’s kept trying; “I sent more than 500 emails to people and organizations whom I thought could help me.”

Many of her fellow female students were captured and killed by the Taliban as they tried to find a way out to study. Finally, Farah reached out to the At Risk Women program, they were helping young female students leave Afghanistan to continue their studies in Cyprus.

After facing several obstacles and passing through countless checkpoints by the Taliban, Farah made it onto the plane to Cyprus and began her journey to a better life. “If I stayed in Afghanistan, I would be dead. So, I am just thankful for being alive on this island. For a normal person in Afghanistan it’s so difficult to get tickets and visas, so the people helping us really worked well to get us those tickets and visas.”

Now Farah is studying in Cyprus and is once more doing what she loves most – making a difference. She is surrounded with good friends, has gone through trauma counseling to help her heal from her experiences in Afghanistan, and is on her way to becoming a greater influencer on social media.

Here are Farah’s words to those who have helped her come this far, “You are making the world a better place to live. You are creating peace; you are creating a better space to live. I know that the world is full of selfish people, but while you are helping you are not expecting something in return. Keep it going on because lots of people around the world need your help. There are so many people who are voiceless, you are their voice, you are helping them raise their voice.”

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *