Peterborough woman’s desperate plea as fears grow for her family in Afghanistan

A woman who was born in Afghanistan but is now living in Peterborough has spoken of her fear for her family still living in her native country after the Taliban took over - and has called on the UK government to make sure refugees are looked after.

By Stephen Briggs
Thursday, 19th August 2021, 5:00 am
Ministry of Defence photo of British citizens and dual nationals residing in Afghanistan getting on a RAF plane before being relocated to the UK. British troops are racing against the clock to get remaining UK nationals and their local allies out of Afghanistan following the dramatic fall of the country's Western-backed government to the Taliban.Picture: PA Media

Kamila Mohammadi came over to Peterborough when she was just 11-years-old.

Now 21, and living in Dogsthorpe, she is watching events unfolding in Afghanistan with horror, as are hundreds of other Afghans living in Peterborough.

Kamila, a law graduate and Chair of Conservative friends of Hazara, still has family living in a number of locations across Afghanistan - a number of whom she has not been able to contact for three weeks.

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Kamila Mohammadi

She said: “I came to Peterborough from Afghanistan when I was 11-years-old in 2010 with my mother and brothers, my father was already in the UK.

“In Afghanistan, I was born in small village called Shirdagh which is located in Ghazni District. I remember my cousins and friends envying me that my father lived in the UK and my family and I will also be going to the UK, which seemed like a dream to them.

“I remember that myself and my cousins had to walk one hour to reach our school, when we reached school, we would get beatings from the teacher for being late. I remember going to the cities, such as Kabul and Ghazni was something everyone wanted to experience but feared of the routes to reach these cities, as the Taliban may stop them in these routes and kidnap or kill them. These memories may seem bitter to others but sweet to me because I had my cousins and families with me.

“Now that I live in the comfort of my home in Peterborough, with the privilege of safety and security, but my extended family including my grandmothers, uncles, aunties, and cousins are still living in Afghanistan.

Ministry of Defence handout photo of British citizens and dual nationals residing in Afghanistan getting on a RAF plane before being relocated to the UK. British troops are racing against the clock to get remaining UK nationals and their local allies out of Afghanistan following the dramatic fall of the country's Western-backed government to the Taliban. Picture: PA Media

“I have only seen my family once since 2010, which was in 2018, where my family and I went back to Afghanistan for two months. Having the opportunity to reunite with my family was sweet, but the fear of getting killed and kidnapped was still present in our hearts.”

While Kamila said she could not remember a time when Afghanistan was safe, she said ongoing events in her native country meant she had ‘lost all hope’.

She said; “Over the years, Afghanistan has not been safe, there has been a continuous attack in different parts of Afghanistan which has killed thousands of civilians and left thousands of children orphaned and thousands of women widows. “These attacks more notably targeted my ethnic group, the Hazaras simply because of our Asiatic features and the sec of Islam we come from.

“Even though this was happening, we had hope for Afghanistan, we hoped that one day Afghanistan would be safe, we hoped one day the children and women of this land would live with no fear, sleep at night with a full stomach of food and wake up in the morning with the sounds of bird chirping not bombs.

“But we lost this hope on August 15 2021, where the Taliban took over the whole of Afghanistan and entered the presidential Palace in Kabul city.

“We watched our country shatter into pieces ones again in 20 years. We saw our flag fall in the ground and saw the flag of the terrorist rise in our hometowns. We saw millions of civilians running for their lives in city of Kabul, we saw thousands of displaced families wondering around with nowhere to live, we saw mothers begging the Taliban armies to free their only son, we saw children in every corner crying because they haven’t eaten in days, we saw girls as young as 12 being forcefully taken away by Taliban to become terrorist brides.

“We saw the dead bodies of civilians laying around in the streets.

“We also saw the western countries turning blind eye to all of this until it was too late.

“We have no lost all contact with my aunties, cousins other extended family in Shirdagh village for more than three weeks now.

“The only news we have heard of them is that they are forced to stay in their homes. The women are asked to cook for Taliban fighters, and their men are forced to take food to wherever the Taliban are fighting. My maternal family lives “In Ghazni city, where we still have contacts with them, my grandmother calls every day to update us.

“She told us that they saw Taliban fighting against the Afghan government from the rooftops of civilian’s homes. She said they haven’t left their house for days now for the fear of getting shot and killed, They cant sleep at night for the fear of their house getting bombed and the fear of Taliban knocking on their door to take over their home or take away their little girls. My grandmother told us that a few days ago their neighbours house got bombed. Thankfully no one died but they can no longer enter their home.

“My paternal family in Kabul cannot leave their homes, they can now see from the window the Taliban armies going past their house, they told us we are so scared that the children are getting severely sick because of the fear they are experiencing.

“Now that the Taliban have full control of the country, we have no hopes left, we have lived under the Taliban regime before, they will never treat the civilians better to what they have done before.”

Now Kamila is urging Peterborough residents to contact their MP to try and get help for Afghan refugees.

She said; “ We are now requesting the people of the UK to raise awareness about Afghanistan, to write to their MPs about the situation in Afghanistan.

“Today, the news has reached us that the Taliban are going to door to door searching for human rights activists, women’s rights activists, journalists and anyone else who has been present in the media and marks their doors with red cross, so that they can return later and kill these individuals.

“We are requesting the UK Government to provide refuge to these individuals, who are at extreme risk, and we are requesting the UK Government to allow refugees from Afghanistan. We are requesting that the women of Afghanistan to be supported - they have worked for 20 years to find a status in the Afghan society but have lost it over a night.”