We fled the Taliban in chaos, shock and terror. A yr later now we have a brand new residence and hope | Zahra Joya


Just over a yr in the past, I watched in horror from my window as Taliban gunmen appeared on the nook of the road in my beloved Kabul. Now, a yr on, I’m scripting this from my desk in my household’s new residence in London. Now we have our personal partitions to color, a kitchen to organize meals in, my younger niece has her personal mattress. From my window I can see our new neighbourhood and may lastly dream of latest horizons for me and my household.

For the previous yr, after the phobia, chaos and shock of our evacuation from our homeland by the UK authorities, now we have been residing in a state of limbo in a resort in central London, together with 400 different Afghans who additionally discovered themselves refugees in a single day.

We have been fortunate. Our resort was clear, the employees have been form and I can not thank the UK authorities sufficient for what they did for us. But because the months went on all of us felt the pressure of being trapped in a state of suspended animation, simply ready for somebody to inform us what would occur to us subsequent.

In Afghanistan we had been journalists, docs, politicians, translators. Now we have been all homeless refugees and there was nothing to do however wait. Though we couldn’t be extra grateful for what the UK had accomplished for us, we had no company, no independence, no cash.

4 hundred individuals from totally different ethnicities and backgrounds all residing shut collectively, all coping with the trauma of what they’d been via and seeing the poverty, starvation and violence taking place again house is a catastrophe. Because the months went on we witnessed home violence, households breaking apart and ethnic tensions. As households struggled to adapt to their new environment we noticed ladies being prevented from leaving the resort by male family members and as a gaggle of younger Hazara ladies with no patriarch with us, we had our share of issues throughout our time there. I do know our resort was no totally different from many the place 1000’s of Afghans have been residing month after month, attempting to cope with what had occurred to their lives whereas witnessing their nation and the household and associates left behind falling into darkness, starvation and violence.

All of us struggled with despair and publish traumatic shock. These ultimate weeks in Afghanistan have been ones of terror, panic and indescribable loss.

I used to be fortunate I had my work, and that gave me a robust sense of function and I’ve continued to run my ladies’s information company Rukhshana Media from my small resort room.

I’ve all the time felt strongly about my position as a journalist; I needed to name out injustice and human rights abuses. My reporting on Taliban violence was the rationale we needed to flee however even on the airport once we have been attempting to go away I couldn’t cease reporting, asking a single mom who was fleeing along with her younger daughter whether or not I might interview her at the same time as army planes evacuating individuals screamed overhead.

My sisters have been indignant with me, saying: “You might have accomplished this for years and now we face the outcomes of your work immediately, we’re having to run away from our nation and our mother and father.” However I felt proud, remembering the times I coated protests and civil demonstrations on the streets of Kabul. Now I’m in exile I really feel my accountability to maintain reporting much more closely.

All yr, daily, I and my group of reporters in Afghanistan, who’re all working in secret, have instructed unhappy and painful tales about what is occurring to ladies in our homeland. Now we have reported about ladies being lashed by Taliban fighters, going hungry and dropping the roles they’d fought so arduous for. Though it’s miserable and boring to consistently be writing unhealthy information, I get up early daily, open my laptop computer and begin working, typically till the early hours of the morning.

Once I see my younger niece and my sisters who are actually residing in a free nation, I take into consideration thousands and thousands of different women in Afghanistan who’re not free and are going through an unsure future. My coronary heart breaks and I do know I have to hold going – the world should not overlook about what is occurring in Afghanistan.

Now, lastly, now we have a house and we are able to begin to construct our life right here. We’re in a position to go to the market, store and cook dinner our personal meals, plan for our future. I’ll proceed my work in exile till it’s secure to return. It’s arduous ranging from scratch however now now we have a spot within the UK that we are able to name residence. On daily basis we grieve the lack of our household and our nation however now, ultimately, now we have hope once more.

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