After Taliban takeover, Afghans in the Gulf worry about home

Daughters of Abadat, 35, a woman from Afghanistan, look on at their home in Ajman, United Arab Emirates, August 29, 2021. REUTERS/Abdel Hadi Ramahi

AJMAN, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) - Five months ago, 35-year-old Abadat left Afghanistan with her two teenage daughters for the Gulf fearing for their safety after a series of explosions rocked the neighbourhood where they lived.

Now safely in the United Arab Emirates, Abadat fears for her family back in Afghanistan following the swift take over by the Taliban that culminated in the capture of Kabul on Aug. 15.

"I’m really scared for them and I wish I can help them and bring them to me or to any other country that is safe,” she said of her mother and three sisters, all Kabul residents.

The UAE, who sent troops to Afghanistan during the twenty year war including to train Afghan forces, says it has facilitated the evacuation of at least 36,500 people from Afghanistan and that as of this week it was temporarily housing around 8,500 Afghans.

Abadat now lives in Ajman in the north of the UAE, and is getting support from the local groups helping people in need.

Abadat said she worries that Afghan women's lives will become increasingly difficult under the Taliban, an ultra-hardline Sunni Islamist group which largely barred women from working or studying during their 1996-2001 rule.

"Women's rights are lost ... Our life is difficult in Afghanistan with the Taliban in charge, it's very hard," said Abadat, who declined to disclose her surname for security reasons.

Since capturing Kabul on Aug. 15, the Taliban have shown a more moderate face and said they will respect women's rights this time round, but these statements have done little to reassure Abadat.

"I am frightened and tense. It's not safe to live in that country," she said, adding that the country was not safe even before the Taliban took over.

In neighbouring Saudi Arabia, Afghan Khalid Abdulrasheed told Reuters he prays for peace in his country and that all those who recently fled will be able to return safely.

Others hope that a looming economic crisis caused by the Taliban takeover can be staved off.

"We want a government to be formed. The Taliban are also our brothers... We want to have a government so that in future everything gets back to normal," Afghan Sheren Agha said in Riyadh.

(Benmansour reporter from Riyadh, writing by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In World

New Zealand to start easing COVID-19 border restrictions
Blinken says U.S. condemns Sudan's military takeover
Israel moves ahead with thousands of settler homes despite US opposition
In Japan, efforts afoot to win hearts, and votes, of the alienated young
Singapore looking into unusual surge after record COVID-19 cases
Australia eases COVID-19 travel advisory ahead of border reopening
Ecuador government will ask assembly to approve bringing down unauthorized planes
Bolsonaro asks Supreme Court to intervene to avoid social media suspension
South Korea and U.S. held disarmament, non-proliferation consultation -State Dept
Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly attack on Iraqi village -statement

Others Also Read