Afghan pop star Aryana Sayeed recollects asking her fiance one factor as they snuck into Kabul’s chaotic airport after the Taliban moved in: “Do not allow them to take me away alive”.
Aryana, who brags of 1.4 million Instagram followers and is commonly likened to US megastar Kim Kardashian, had drawn the non secular conservatives’ ire for her ladies’s rights activism and figure-hugging garments.
A singer and former decide of a preferred Afghan music expertise present, the 36-year-old couldn’t stroll down the streets of Kabul with out attracting a gawking crowd of selfie-snapping followers.
This made her escape from town she cherished that rather more surreal.
Her first try on August 15 — the day the Taliban entered Kabul whereas US forces scrambled to evacuate foreigners and a few Afghans after 20 years of battle — failed as a result of the aircraft by no means took off.
The stakes may hardly be increased when she made her second try the next day, with Kalashnikov-toting fighters surrounding the airport and allied forces attempting to regulate the determined crowds at its gates.
Her fiance and supervisor, Hasib Sayed, was speaking along with her by walkie-talkie in a second automobile.
“I stated to him, you understand Hasib… if I’m about to be taken away alive, simply shoot me. Simply shoot me within the head,” she instructed AFP at her swank Istanbul condominium.
“That was the one factor I used to be fearful of. I wasn’t fearful of dying or something.”
‘Girls have been fainting’
Aryana knew she was taking a danger when she launched her personal trend model in Kabul simply as US forces have been dashing up their withdrawal and the Taliban have been retaking large swathes of the nation in July.
“I at all times needed to offer hope to the longer term, so I made a decision to speculate,” she recalled.
These goals have been a distant reminiscence when she discovered herself with slightly boy she didn’t even know sitting on her lap, her face veiled, attempting to move off as a standard household as they handed Taliban checkpoints en path to the airport.
“We made up a narrative as properly. I keep in mind we instructed this little child if we get stopped, you need to inform them I’m your mum and my title isn’t Aryana. It is Freshta,” she stated.
Aryana stated the danger to her personal life was just too nice to remain behind Ozan KOSE AFP
Her fiance reached the gate first, pushing via the crowds.
“Folks have been pushing one another, there have been kids, little infants, the ladies have been fainting due to a scarcity of oxygen and area,” she stated.
US troopers initially refused to allow them to via, giving precedence to Americans, however a translator recognised Hasib and instructed the troopers that he was the fiance of an enormous star whose life was in jeopardy.
‘Not the brand new Taliban’
The couple made their approach to Doha, Kuwait and the US, ultimately returning to the flat they’d in Istanbul.
Aryana had drawn the non secular conservatives’ ire for her ladies’s rights activism and figure-hugging garments Ozan KOSE AFP
‘Thirsty for my blood’
Aryana has devoted greater than half her music to Afghan ladies. However the danger to her personal life was just too nice to remain behind.
Even earlier than Kabul fell, she stated she felt “like a prisoner” as a result of others seen her as a menace.
“If the Taliban are round, there may be positively no area for me as a result of the Taliban are thirsty for my blood,” she stated.
However whereas impressed by international pop icons equivalent to Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce, Aryana attracts a line at direct comparisons.
Her first try and flee Kabul on August 15 failed as a result of the aircraft by no means took off Ozan KOSE AFP
“Think about being a decide on a musical present and you need to put on an armoured jacket to not be killed. I do not suppose any of them has lived that,” she stated.
“I believe I’ve had a really completely different life from them,” she mused. “I want I may have a life like them, however how will you blame your fortune for being born in a war-torn nation like Afghanistan?”