‘I have the same blood as you’: Afghan mayor pleads with West to stay – ITV News

“It is about the rights of a generation the rights of a nation.” ITV News Correspondent John Ray speaks to Zarifa Ghafari


Zarifa Ghafari, one of the first female mayors in Afghanistan, knows how lucky she is to have escaped the Taliban-controlled country for safety in Germany.

But that does not stop her missing her home and those she left behind – and desperately worried about what could happen in Afghanistan when the US and UK are gone.

Ms Ghafari may be one of the last Afghans to flee the country through Kabul airport as the August 31 air bridge deadline creeps closer .

Ms Ghafari had no choice but to leave the country she loves. She has already survived three assassination attempts on her life by the Taliban. The militants murdered her father, a senior army officer.

She said boarding the plane “was harder” than the day her father died.

Her journey to freedom was perilous. She got to the airport by hiding in a footwell of a car, her husband covering her head with a bag whenever they went through a Taliban checkpoint.

“I was really, really scared,” Ms Ghafari tells ITV News.

Ms Ghafari knows she would have killed her if she had not escaped but freedom has come at a heavy price.

She has lost everything, including her faith in the future.

Zarifa Ghafari, one of the first female mayors in Afghanistan. Credit: ITV News

Ms Ghafari told ITV News: “I really miss it (Afghanistan). I really miss my office. I really miss those women who were coming to me. I really miss those children who were coming to me, who are talking to me; I really miss that noise of Kabul.”

She’s now among the growing band of Afghan exiles distraught at the prospect of the West cutting and running.

Asked what message she had for President Biden and Boris Johnson, Ms Ghafari replied: “My message is, my blood is not different to yours.”For now, it is about the safety of a generation. It is about the rights of a generation the rights of a nation.”

Zarifa Ghafari with her father who was killed by the Taliban. Credit: ITV News

Ms Ghafari still hopes to be part of the country’s future, to somehow negotiate with the enemy.”The tears in my eyes…it’s not because I’m weak. It’s not because I am giving up. It’s just because just because of the emotions and feelings that I have for my country, I really wish I could return back as soon as possible.”

But when that day will come she cannot tell.

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‘I have the same blood as you’: Afghan mayor pleads with West to stay – ITV News

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