Zarifa Ghafari, Afghanistan’s first female mayor, says she is waiting for the Taliban to kill her after they seized control of the country. “I’m sitting here waiting for them to come,” she told British newspaper i on Sunday (Aug. 15). “There is no one to help me or my family. I’m just sitting with them and my husband. And they will come for people like me and kill me. I can’t leave my family. And anyway, where would I go?”
On Sunday (Aug. 15), the Taliban seized control after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Just hours after the seize, hundreds of Afghans were seen trying to flee the country at Kabul’s International Airport. Several people even clung to an aircraft as it took off into the sky.
Back in 2018, Ghafari was appointed by President Ghani, becoming the first woman to hold a government job in Maidan Shar and Afghanistan’s youngest mayor.
Just a few weeks ago, Ghafari told i that she had hope for her country. “Younger people are aware of what’s happening,” she previously said. “They have social media. They communicate. I think they will continue fighting for progress and our rights. I think there is a future for this country.”
As the Taliban began to resurge, Ghafari was given a job in the relative safety of the Defense Ministry in Kabul. She became responsible for the welfare of civilians and soldiers who were injured in terrorist attacks.
After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on Sunday, President Joe Biden called for all U.S. troops to be removed from the country. “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves,” the president said during a press conference on Monday (Aug. 16).