After the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the fates of many are uncertain. Social media platforms are full of horrifying videos documenting the extensive exodus of refugees who do not want to continue living under a regime of terror. Among the worst affected by the Taliban’s actions are the women of the country who are being forced to give up their jobs and stop their education due to new hyper-conservative mandates.
Afghan filmmaker Sahraa Karimi is one of those women, forced to witness the brutal collapse of an entire system of governance at the hands of terrorists. Throughout the conflicts that took place, she kept posting updates of the incidents on social media. According to one such report, the filmmaker had gone to the bank when the facility shut down and was evacuated which prompted her to write: “Please do not be silent, they are coming to kill us.”
In an open letter to the international film community, Karimi called for support during these troubled times. While revealing the terrifying details about the Taliban’s oppression and their hostility towards the arts, the filmmaker elaborated on the terrorist’s groups attempts to subject the country’s artistic culture to systematic erasure.
“I write to you with a broken heart and a deep hope that you can join me in protecting my beautiful people, especially filmmakers, from the Taliban,” Karimi mentions in the letter. “It’s a humanitarian crisis, and yet the world is silent. We have grown accustomed to this silence, yet we knew it is not fair. We know that this decision to abandon our people is wrong, that this hasty troop withdrawal is a betrayal of our people and all that we did when Afghans won the Cold War for the west.”
Adding, “Our people were forgotten then, leading up to the Taliban’s dark rule, and now, after twenty years of immense gains for our country and especially our younger generations, all could be lost again in this abandonment… Everything that I have worked so hard to build as a filmmaker is at risk of falling. If the Taliban take over they will ban all art. I and other filmmakers could be next on their hit list.”
“I do not understand this world. I do not understand this silence. I will stay and fight for my country, but cannot do it alone,” Karimi stated. “I need allies like you. Please help us get this world to care about what is happening to us. Please help us by informing your countries’ most important media what is going on here in Afghanistan. Be our voices outside Afghanistan.”
She pleaded: “The world should not turn its back on us. We need your support and your voice on behalf of Afghan women, children, artists, and filmmakers. This support would be the greatest help we need right now.”