When the Taliban took manage of Afghanistan closing August, lifestyles for plenty girls withinside the united states of america modified overnight. For one TV presenter, it intended the give up of her career, at the side of her hopes and desires. Now, nearly a 12 months on, she is making an attempt to construct a brand new lifestyles as a refugee withinside the UK.
On 14 August 2021, the night time earlier than the Taliban took manage of Kabul, Shabhnam Dawran become making ready to offer the information bulletin on Radio Television Afghanistan.
In current days, the Taliban had swept throughout Afghanistan and had now reached the outskirts of the capital.
The 24-12 months-antique Shabhnam become a growing star. She went on air to interrupt the information to visitors who have been glued to their TV displays following each improvement of the story.
“I become so emotional that I could not even study the lead story. People looking me at domestic ought to inform what I become going through,” she says.
When she woke the following morning, Kabul had fallen to the militant group.
A Taliban member, with the group’s black and white flag in the back of him, become now sitting withinside the equal seat withinside the studio in which Shabhnam had sat the night time earlier than.
It marked the give up of an era.
At their first authentic information conference, a Taliban spokesman informed a room packed with reporters that girls ought to paintings “shoulder to shoulder with men”.
The subsequent day, a anxious however excited Shabhnam placed on her paintings garments and made her manner to the office.
But as quickly as she arrived, she become faced through Taliban squaddies, who she says have been guarding the constructing and most effective permitting male people to enter.
Shabhnam says a soldier informed her that “withinside the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, we have not determined approximately girls yet”. Another soldier, she says, informed her: “You’ve labored sufficient, now it is our time.”
When she informed them she had each proper to paintings, Shabhnam says one of the squaddies pointed his rifle at her, positioned his finger at the cause and said: “One bullet might be sufficient for you – will you go away or must I shoot you here?”
She then left, however published a video describing the come across on social media. It went viral, placing her and her own circle of relatives’s lifestyles in danger.
She packed a small bag and fled the united states of america some days later, taking her more youthful siblings – Meena and Hemat – together along with her.
A new lifestyles
Shabhnam and her siblings later arrived withinside the UK, at the side of heaps of different Afghan refugees. They confronted a protracted wait to be settled.
As a refugee and not using a English and confined process prospects, Shabhnam had a tough time adjusting to her new surroundings.
“I experience like I misplaced the six years I labored in Afghanistan. Now I should study English and visit university. On the primary days we could not even cross shopping. If we wanted a few essentials, we could not specific what we wanted. It become extraordinarily hard and painful.”
Almost a 12 months on, the bulk of latest Afghan refugees withinside the UK continue to be in lodges throughout the united states of america. Shabhnam and her siblings, however, had been lucky – they have been supplied with a council residence in advance this 12 months.
“Our lifestyles begins offevolved now. We’re like a brand new toddler that has to begin from the very beginning,” she says with a grin as she instructs her sister Meena to place the kettle directly to make “chai sabz”, the conventional Afghan inexperienced tea that incorporates cardamom.
They are slowly being used to lifestyles in London and had been taking part in their first English summer, aleven though they nonetheless leave out domestic.
“I’m a nearby now,” Shabhnam says, giggling. She is aware of in which to discover the bakery with the nice and cozy bread that appears and scents just like the ones that they’d again domestic, and in which to get the quality dried fruit and inexperienced tea.
She and her sister at the moment are reading English at a university and her brother attends secondary college.
Shabhnam believes her own circle of relatives has been properly supported through the United Kingdom government, however concerns approximately different Afghan refugees, a number of whom are her friends. She says their plight has been overshadowed through the strugglefare in Ukraine.
“Processing the instances of Afghans, and particularly the ones caught in lodges, has been vastly behind schedule due to Ukrainian refugees. They [the British government] have positioned a restriction on Afghans coming to the United Kingdom however now no longer on Ukrainians. They should not have behaved like that with Afghans.”
The BBC positioned her issues to the United Kingdom Home Office. It said: “It is inaccurate to set those prone corporations in opposition to every different. Our Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme will offer as much as 20,000 girls, kids and different at chance corporations with a secure and prison direction to resettle withinside the UK.
“The housing of Afghan people and households may be a complicated procedure. We are operating with over three hundred nearby government throughout the United Kingdom to satisfy the call for and feature moved – or are withinside the procedure of moving – over 6,000 human beings into houses in view that June 2021.”
A lot has modified in Afghanistan in view that Shabhnam left domestic. Girls had been banned from going to secondary college in maximum components of the united states of america, parks had been segregated and girls had been ordered to cowl their faces.
This rule has specifically affected lady TV presenters who’ve been compelled to put on face coverings on air.
Shabhnam sympathises together along with her colleagues who’ve no desire however to just accept the cruel edicts in the event that they desire to maintain operating.
“[The Taliban] need to pressure girls to say ‘we supply up, we do not need to return back to paintings anymore and we publish to staying at domestic’,” she says. “Until they alternate their manner of thinking, they may now no longer convey a fantastic alternate in society.”
But she has now no longer given up wish of at some point returning to Afghanistan.
“Like a pitcher that falls at the ground and breaks into pieces, my hopes, plans and desires have been shattered,” she says.
“I wish for an afternoon while Afghanistan is an area in which human beings aren’t simply surviving – however thriving. I will now no longer be doubtful of returning then.”