Transcriptions of Interviews with Kabul Women – September 2021


My name is Fatima Hussaini. On the first day when the Taliban entered Kabul my children were outside. There was a lot of noise outside among people and everyone got terrified by coming of Taliban. I was very worried and was going outside and coming in frequently. Finally my children came one after another. I felt that maybe my children had been abducted by the Taliban. I could feel how fear took over all of my body. I attended school before the Taliban. And this year I was in the sixth grade, now we are deprived of education. I also went to a gym for six years. I was a trainer in the gym. Now I am out of everything, staying at home. My husband is also jobless and stays at home all day. We don’t know what God will do with our destiny. We are all worried about our future. People are afraid of the Taliban as they hit many people. Most of us do not leave the house and we are all worried. Even though the Taliban say that they won’t harm us. We have very terrible memories of their first regime. They are dangerous. We are very frightened and do not think that the Taliban have changed at all.



My name is Lailuma. I used to work in the Ministry of Public Works. I do not have a caretaker. My husband was martyred. My dear son was also martyred two and a half years back in the MoPW attack. Now I’m sitting in a corner of the house since the arrival of the Taliban. No salary, no subsistence. I wonder what to do for the household expenses. I have no idea. I lost my husband, I lost my son. Nobody reached out to me. I’ve become a stay-at-home. Idle and desperate. What is to be done? I can’t do nothing. Its myself and my daughter and my nephew. In this house, useless. I don’t know what else to do. It’s been 23 years since my husband’s martyrdom and two and a half years since my son’s. During all these years I was working in the ministry and providing everything for my family. And now that the Taliban have come, I stay around the house. We do not have a caretaker nor someone to give a helping hand except God. We have no other option. There is no caretaker, nor a breadwinner. I was the breadwinner myself.

[Pointing to photograph] This is his father (her husband) and this is my son. And this is my brother-in-law that are all martyred now.



My name is Nargis and I was studying at the Afghan National Institute of Music. I just finished 11th grade. And it’s been 8 years that I’m a guitarist and the day the Taliban came to Kabul and came inside our school. We were practicing there that day and we rapidly got out. They are still there and consider music haram (unlawful). They stay there day and night, all of them. They have broken all the music instruments in the school. To raise our voice, the women started protesting for the rights of women, for the voice of women. We also participated and women will never be caged again in houses and will never waste their many years of effort. They will break out and rally in the streets and raise their voice from the women all over the world, women who are devoted to the rights and voices of other women. We want them to fight alongside the women of Afghanistan and raise their voice.



I am doctor Nooria, a gynecologist in one of the hospitals in Kabul city. When the Taliban entered Kabul, we were busy with work in the hospital, sincerely serving the people. Suddenly there were strange noises. People were very scared. Everyone started to rush into the hospital. People were afraid that the Taliban would enter the hospital. It was the day that darkness took over Afghanistan, affecting all the people of Afghanistan, especially women. Thereupon, Kabul died… Kabul was turned off… the sound of everything muted and nobody left their houses. For two or three days and even a week. Me personally, because I used to work in a women’s hospital and have always served treating women as well as being active in women’s advocacy associations. I worked with women to fight violence, so I was very scared myself. Till now, I walk out of the house in fear because I am afraid that they might harm me. The fact that the Taliban act towards women badly, they do not think that women are human beings and they do not want women to leave the house. Let alone women like me and our colleagues who work for women. I think if the Taliban know what we were doing, they will take our lives. Because of this, life has become difficult. I have had interviews with private TV channels. Therefore, I have a familiar face and this has become a threat for me. I also participated in women’s protests. We urge women who work in social institutions and have a more open hand to not leave us alone. Support the achievements of Afghan women. Let us not repeat history, same as in the past, and imprison women inside the walls of houses and deprive them of their basic rights to live. We ask the people of foreign countries to please help us and do not let our voices be silenced.



In the name of God, greetings to you and all the dear viewers. I am Ruqaya Sadiqi. I was a government official and also a journalist. Before the arrival of the Taliban, being a government official, I traveled to all the northern provinces of Afghanistan. I interviewed with various women about their lives – what are their life conditions, deprived of literacy and education. What is their safety and security conditions. I interviewed them and the research papers I wrote were published in the HaftaNaam-e-Kabul. After the Taliban advent, my life has completely changed. It turned to zero. I couldn’t continue my work in the government, because my job was to do surveys and conduct research projects and travel to countryside provinces that I cannot go now. And being a journalist, I cannot write anything now. The columns I want to write, I cannot. Because they [Taliban] are the kind of people who threaten the journalists. As you witnessed yourselves, that journalists were beaten and tortured. And I will never be willing to do that. For my family, I don’t want them to be harmed because of me. Or that I may experience a damage that would worry my family. Therefore, I neither work and nor do I write. I didn’t participate in the protest. The only reason, as I stated earlier, was that I don’t want my family to be worried because of me. And my requisition from the women of the world is to demonstrate their solidarity for the women’s situation in Afghanistan because they are more vulnerable than any part of society. For 20 years they scrambled for work and education till they could, if not equal themselves with the women of the world but they could prove their capabilities so they can be active in the society. Work alongside men, secure their rights, and utilize their rights. But since the Taliban have come, all the women are at home now. And the very small number of women that are working, they are under very serious threats. Every minute there can be someone coming to end their life by putting a bullet between their eyes or harming their families.



I am Zahra. Born and raised in the beautiful city of Isfahan in Iran. And a student of genetics at Faravar University. As I was very interested in the study of medical sciences and unfortunately it wasn’t possible (for Afghan refugees) to study medicine in Iran, I came to Kabul to start medical university because I was very very interested in this field. I started medicine at Khatim-ul-Nabieen University. Due to financial problems, I had to work in a beauty clinic. I loved my job. I was studying, I was working. I was about to reach all of my dreams and to achieve success. Sadly, the situation changed in Afghanistan. And the faces I came across at this situation, alas, were faces that I may have thought to see in the horror movies or read in the saddest stories. Unluckily, now I face all of them with the shattering of my dreams. I lived the days that I may never have thought to face. I was expecting to realize all my dreams in my own country, and I was about to do so, but regrettably everything is devastated now.