Remember the Afghans

As we begin September and close out a chaotic August, I feel the need to personally acknowledge the tragedy that has unfolded in the West’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Yes, ending war is good, but I’m left wondering what the point of this 20 year war was. What did the U.S. accomplish in two decades on the ground for the country to be taken by the Taliban so easily? The human cost: 47K civilians and 6k+ U.S. troops & contractors.

My heart goes out to the U.S. citizens and SIV holders who remain in the country and are trying to leave, and to the Afghan people who deserve so much more than the endless war and instability they have been subjected to for the last two generations (40+ years).

My heart goes out to Afghan women and girls facing a future in which they are second class citizens under the Taliban. When men rule over women — we all lose, but women and girls face the greatest trauma. Denial of basic human rights, violence, forced marriage. This is not about Islam — none of this is Islamic. This is about control and power.

Lastly, my heart also goes out the refugees who leave the only home they’ve ever known for new countries. I cried the first time I saw the photo of the 640 Afghan refugees aboard one of the first U.S cargo planes to leave Kabul. Not for what they were leaving behind, but for what they will surely experience at some point in America. Not only will they deal with culture shock, which anyone related to an immigrant can tell you is very real, but the treatment they will receive from racists and white supremacists who talk down to them, abuse them and tell them to “go back to where you came from.” I see Trump and GOP political leaders using dangerous rhetoric to stoke racist and xenophobic fears amongst their base in an attempt to deny these innocent refugees a chance in this country after all they have sacrificed to be here.

Despite the darkness, we can all take action and that is what we should channel our despair into doing:

  • You can help Afghan refugees arriving in the U.S. by donating to one of the organizations in this article.
  • You can donate to organizations helping Afghan women and girls on the ground in the country by donating to Women for Women.

Remember the Afghans.

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Nadia Rahman

Nadia Rahman

Communicator & Organizer. Founder rahman-consulting.com. Co-President San Francisco Women’s Political Committee. Board SF-Marin Food Bank. Lead YIMBY SF.