Afghan refugee who fled when Taliban last held power in fear of family being killed

Bahar said she had to flee Afghanistan in the late 1990s to escape “the same brutality we are witnessing” when the Taliban took over the country and the capital, Kabul

Bahar is a 38-year-old Afghan refugee who fled the Taliban in 1997 and eventually settled in Leeds (

Image: Yorkshire Post / SWNS)

An Afghan refugee who fled the country in 1997, the last time the Taliban were in power, describes life in “constant fear” that her family will be killed by the bloodthirsty regime.

Bahar lost her father during Russian rule in the 1980s, while her mother and three of her siblings were killed during the last Taliban rule.

When she was pregnant with her first child in 1997, she embarked on a dangerous journey from war-torn Afghanistan as a teenager.

The escape is necessary, she said, in order to escape “the same brutality that we see now”.

She settled in Leeds, West York’s, but more than two decades later she said she was still living in fear when she saw the horrific scenes in which the Taliban take control of Kabul.

Bahar says the terrible scenes in which the Taliban take control of Kabul fills them with fear


Yorkshire Post / SWNS)

Bahar, whose last name is unknown to protect her surviving family members, said she was afraid for the people left behind in Afghanistan.

“I became a strong fighter, but to be honest, I have no energy and I don’t know if I can keep fighting. I cry every night, ”she said. “My family is hiding with no money and no food.

“I’m afraid for her because I’ve lost so many people in my family. I’m afraid the same thing will happen to them. “

The refugee, who believes she is 38 years old, said everyone in her Leeds community was worried and crying, desperate to help and support their families and loved ones.

Bahar, who founded the Bahar Women’s Association, said she probably wouldn’t be alive today if she hadn’t escaped her home as a young teenager.

Since arriving in Leeds, she has become a voice for the Afghan community who, in her opinion, are “desperate” and who have turned to her for fear of their own families.

Taliban fighters patrol a street in Kabul


AFP via Getty Images)

Bahar added, “I had to go to survive. If I stayed, I would probably no longer be alive now or I would be married to one of them [the Taliban]. “

At least 72 people were killed and more than 150 injured in two shocking explosions near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul last week.

The airport has seen thousands of desperate men, women and children trying to board flights to escape Taliban tyranny.

The Home Office has announced that Britain is ready to accept 10,000 Afghan refugees this year, for a total of 20,000 “long-term”.

Bahar urged people to welcome new refugees and make them feel at home as they know the suffering they are going through better than anyone else.

After the unimaginable suffering Bahar went through, she was confronted with hostility upon arrival in Britain.

She said other refugees looking for a better life in the UK have faced hate crimes and Islamophobia, which she described as “really, really hard” to endure.

“Everything was strange and at the same time my heart was broken – I had lost my family, my country. I was still a teenager and had chest pain, “she said.

“I was lost, I didn’t know who I was, or what I was doing, or how to move on.

“I had no one to talk to, no one to ask me why I came here and what happened to me.

“I’ve been waiting for the right moment and the right person to come and ask me one day, but nothing came.”

Based on her experience, she asked the British to welcome the incoming refugees and try to make them feel at home.

“Anything you can do as a responsible person, please do not hesitate. Where else can we escape? “

While she said she had “dear, supportive” friends from both the UK and Asian communities, she said that was “not enough”.

“We have to respect asylum seekers out of humanity, they have been through so much. In Afghanistan, the people cannot get out, they do not know whether they will be alive next month.

“I hope that our country, our city will take in refugees. Because I understand more than anyone the pain they go through. “


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