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Tahmina's blog series “In Their Own Words” features stories from the everyday people who are still living under Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Names have been changed or redacted for security, and the views expressed in these pieces are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Tahmina Tea.

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Hello from Afghanistan.

I am Sadiqa, a 22 year old girl with big dreams. At a young age I worked hard to reach my goals and my dream was to get a master degree in business. I want to become a business woman. I started to pursue my master’s degree at Kabul University but everything came to a halt too soon. The sweet dreams I had for myself and for my country quickly became lost when the Taliban entered my city. 

It was a hot summer in Afghanistan but felt cold as winter as we heard news of the Taliban making their way to Kabul. There was a lot of hearsay of the coming of the Taliban, fear and panic filled the city. 

On August 15th, 2021, I was returning home from my job earlier than usual because I was preparing for my English class. I felt no comfort on that disappointing day. My eyes were frozen staring at the clock. I had a sick feeling in my stomach as I heard the screams of girls on my street. The Taliban had reached Kabul. 

A few moments later my brother yelled, “The Taliban is here! The Taliban have reached Kabul!” I heard from my family that everything had closed. Schools, shops, and businesses closed. Silence ruled the city. It seemed like no one lived there.

I felt like all the dreams I had were disappearing in front of my eyes. I thought everything was over. It felt like I had no right to have dreams. It was the worst feeling I have ever experienced in my entire life. I had heard a lot about the Taliban before, but I did not know that this time I was going to have to experience all these bad days for myself! Why are illiterate murderers making decisions for our destiny? Days feel like weeks when we do not know about our fate. 

The Taliban announced they will permit women to do work but in the framework of Sharia law this is impossible. They are keeping women in prison under this framework. After the Taliban came I lost my job, girls education has stopped, our rights are lost but of course Islamic education can continue. Is this fair? 

During this time I have opened my home to teach girls in my community English. I want them to have a free course to learn and have some sort of joy during this dark time. I want the next generation of Afghan children to be a part of the change for our country. 

I hope one day we can reach our dreams and we will laugh again!

We are brave people, we are Afghans, we will never surrender. 

Sister Sadiqa from Kabul, Afghanistan

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