Afghan pop star Aryana Sayeed, who fled Kabul after her country was taken over by the Taliban, said she is “heartbroken” by the plight of all those left behind and “disappointed that Afghanistan has been abandoned by the world”.
Speaking of the crisis and human tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan, Ms Sayeed, 36, said: “I am upset, sad and disappointed at how Afghanistan has been left alone and abandoned by the world. My heart goes out to the millions innocent people in Afghanistan with nowhere to go.”
A household name in Afghanistan for her music and celebrity status, Ms. Sayeed escaped from Kabul on a US military plane and is currently in Los Angeles in the US.
She left the country on August 15 when the Taliban invaded the capital, Kabul, after a series of provincial capitals fell in quick succession in Afghanistan and the country’s president, Ashraf Ghani, fled abroad. Thousands of people attacked the Kabul airport in an attempt to flee the feared hardline of the Taliban’s Islamist rule.
Describing the scenes at the Kabul airport, Ms Sayeed said: “The day I had the flight from Kabul, the Taliban were already everywhere. It was horrifying to see thousands running to the airport… There was absolute chaos at the airport. the airport. Children were crying, people were piling up. There was no room, no air to breathe. It was heartbreaking.”
Horrific scenes have unfolded at Kabul International Airport, with reports of at least eight deaths so far. Many people tried forcibly to enter planes leaving the country, while several others attempted to climb the walls and squeeze through barbed wire.
When Ms Sayeed reached the gates to board the plane, she said a woman approached her and handed her baby to her. “She screamed and cried and gave me the baby as I was about to go in and ask me to take the baby.”
“But I thought how can I separate a baby from its mother? I asked the soldier if we could both take them with us. But unfortunately the soldiers couldn’t,” she said crying, adding that she would return the baby to his mother. .
“I was lucky…one of the lucky few with a British passport to get out,” she added.
From Kabul, Ms Sayeed reached Qatar from where she moved on to Turkey, where she lives full-time with her husband Hasib Sayed, an Afghan music producer.
About the future of women under the Taliban rule, the singer said: “I don’t believe the Taliban. I’m sure they will return to reality and who they are. I hope the world can hold them accountable for what they say. There is no future for Afghan women in the hands of the Taliban.”
The Taliban were known for leading a ruthless form of Islamist government when they ruled between 1996 and 2001 — locking women in their homes, banning entertainment, and publicly beating and executing prisoners. Women were also required to wear the all-encompassing burqa robe in public. Many Afghans fear a repeat of the brutal interpretation of Islamic law.
A Taliban spokesman said on Tuesday that female Afghan government officials should stay at home until security in the country improves.
“I hope we can find a king with a solution for Afghanistan, I hope the world wakes up and helps Afghanistan… I hope women are not shot in the head, like they used to be (under the previous Taliban regime), Said said. “I’m concerned about the women trapped in their homes.”
Speaking about India’s relations with her country, the pop star said, “India is Afghanistan’s one true friend.”
“India for us is completely the opposite of Pakistan. Pakistan is trying to spread terrorism in Afghanistan, while India helps bring peace, harmony and love,” she added.
India has so far evacuated more than 800 people amid a deteriorating security situation in Kabul, clambering through several countries to rescue their citizens.
“I will continue to ask the world to help the millions of people and will continue to fight for my people,” the singer said.
“I believe in the strength of humanity, the strength and power of women in Afghanistan… They will survive again, but they have to fight for their freedom,” said an emotional Mrs. Sayeed, folding her hands in aNamaste.”