Last August, human rights activist Zarlasht Haidary was among the lucky few vulnerable Afghans who were airlifted out of the country before the last U.S. troops departed.
Her activism made her a target for the Taliban, so she chose to leave despite the knowledge that she could live in limbo for months, years — possibly a lifetime.
She had been displaced before, after fleeing Afghanistan when the Taliban took power in 1996 when she was just 6 years old.
“As a kid, I barely grasped what we went through ... but what I grew up to realize is that that country had never been our home, and we were never welcomed there as Afghan immigrants,” she said in an interview from Boston, where she is currently living. “Now everything is happening all over again, only I feel the gravity of it this time.”
More than 76,000 Afghans have arrived in the U.S. in this wave of evacuations, while thousands more are waiting in bases and refugee facilities in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates with the expectation that they will be relocated to the U.S. in the coming months.
But many of those Afghans don’t know what happens next, because they are arriving under what is known as humani...