Transfer of Afghans who arrived in Rome on August 28, 2021 | Photo: ANSA/EMANUELE VALERI.
Transfer of Afghans who arrived in Rome on August 28, 2021 | Photo: ANSA/EMANUELE VALERI.

An Afghan teacher who has just arrived in Sardinia said in a recent interview that the situation back home collapsed suddenly, leading her to flee the Afghanistan of the Taliban. With her is an 18-year-old student.

An Afghan teacher who has just arrived in Sardinia after fleeing her country told ANSA that on Thursday (August 12) before the fall of Kabul, "everything was calm."

"We knew the Taliban were winning in the provinces but everything was proceeding regularly," she said. Students were arriving from all over the country because of exams, the teacher remembered.

"The exams were carried out as usual and we returned home with the completed tests. Friday was a holiday and then on Saturday, disaster struck."

"I left home to go to school and they told us that Kabul had fallen. They urged us to go back home and not to go out. That is when we understood that it was all over. School was over, our future was not safe anymore."

She said she had no choice but to leave. The pilgrimage to the airport with children and relatives was difficult, she said.

"In the end, we somehow arrived in Rome and we were welcomed in a wonderful way. We were finally happy," she noted. Shortly after she was transferred to Cagliari, Sardinia.

The most wonderful news came "when we were told that our children could go to school," she remembered. "This is the future for us."

'I dream about becoming a doctor', young student says

A young student, 18, is with her. She fled Afghanistan a year before reaching "12th grade", the equivalent of high school graduation. "I don't know how yet but I must continue," said the student. "My dream is to become a doctor."

The difficult journey before reaching Sardinia is also told by a man, the father of seven children, who was traveling in the same group of refugees as the teacher and the student. The man said he worked with Italians in Afghanistan and feels grateful towards them.

"When we arrived in front of the airport, we had thousands of people in front of us. For us, who also had children, it was an insurmountable wall even with the right documents to leave. It was the Italians that helped us and, once we reached the barrier, they cut the net to allow us to get in. After that everything became easier," the man said.

"The Italians in Afghanistan knew how to treat people and be appreciated. When they moved to another area and were replaced by soldiers from other nations it wasn't the same thing."

The feeling of appreciation was confirmed once the group reached Rome, he said.

'Wonderful reception' in Sardinia

"Wonderful reception, it was marvelous in Sardinia", he said. "We only had the clothes we had worn for the trip, they asked us for a list of useful clothes. The list was long, we almost felt ashamed to give it to them. But they were exceptional," the man said, thanking in particular helpers from Caritas.

"In particular, apart from the material things that we needed, they were always close to us. The same thing happened with the people we met over the next days. This is our second home, we want to be part of this community," he said.

Note: No photos have been taken and names have been withheld to protect identities

 

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