Afghan women’s rights activist fears Taliban resurgence

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With the Taliban closing in on Kabul, Kamila Sidiqi knows she is in danger. 

As one of Afghanistan’s most prominent women’s rights activists and a former government minister, she realizes how vulnerable she will be if the Taliban make it to the capital city

“Every minute I think of the Taliban coming,” she told The Times of London, “and if they will come directly to my home.” 

On Saturday, insurgent fighters reportedly got as close as 7 miles to Kabul. 

Sidiqi gained fame resisting the Taliban as a teenager in the 1990s, a struggle that became the subject of the bestselling book “The Dressmaker of Khair Khana,” which described how she set up a secret sewing business that employed more than 100 women. 

She moved to Britain when she married in 2007, but Sidiqi went back to Afghanistan in April for her mother’s funeral. As the COVID situation worsened in Kabul and flights were canceled, she had to delay her return. Now she’s having trouble leaving the country. 

A UK citizen, she drove to the British embassy on Saturday but found it deserted. A guard gave her a phone number to call but it was busy, the Times reported. 

Taliban fighters riding in a truck in the city of Herat, west of Kabul on August 14, 2021.
Taliban fighters riding in a truck in the city of Herat, west of Kabul on Aug. 14, 2021.
AP Photo/Hamed Sarfarazi)

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