Women’s Rights Activist Recounts Pain Of Leaving Afghanistan

Zarifa Ghafari, former mayor of Maidan Shahr and Afghan women's rights activist, who arrived with her family in Cologne last Monday, works on a laptop prior an interview with the Associated Press at a hotel in Duesseldorf, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021. Ghafari became the mayor of the Afghan town of Maidan Shahr in 2018, at the age of 26. She was a recipient of the the U.S. State Department's 2020 International Women of Courage award. According to the State Department, she has survived at least six assassination attempts. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

(AP) — A former mayor of a central Afghanistan city is in Germany after having fled her homeland along with thousands of others who feared the Taliban’s takeover put their lives at risk.

As a young female mayor appointed in 2018, Zarifa Ghafari was a shining example of the new Afghanistan that many of the nation’s people hoped would emerge after the hardline Islamist group first was driven from power.

Three years later, the 29-year-old Ghafari spoke Wednesday about the pain she felt as she and her family prepared to fly out of Kabul following a harrowing effort to reach the airport. “I am not sure my tears will be able to explain it,” she said.


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