Afghan filmmaker Sahraa Karimi has written a letter to the film community pleading to join her “in protecting my beautiful people, especially filmmakers from the Taliban.”
“I am writing this with a broken heart and with the deep hope that you will join us in saving my beautiful country from the Taliban,” she wrote two days before the Taliban took over Kabul and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Fearing the new rulers would target Western diplomats, civilians and Afghans themselves, a massive effort was made to airlift them to safety.
“They massacred our people, kidnapped many children, they killed a woman in the name of dress, they tortured and killed one of our favorite comedians, they killed a prehistoric poet,” she wrote of the Taliban. “They killed people associated with the government, some of us were hanged in public, and they displaced millions of families. After fleeing from these provinces, the families are in camps in Kabul, where they are in a state of dire straits.”
She went on: “Children are dying in the camps due to dacoity and lack of milk. This is a humanitarian crisis, and yet the world is silent. We are used to this silence, but we know it is not fair. We know this decision to leave our people is wrong, we need your voice. What I have worked so hard for as a filmmaker in my country is likely to collapse. If the Taliban takes power, they will ban all arts. Me and other filmmakers could be next on his hit list. They will violate the rights of women and our expression will be silenced.”
Karimi appealed to those in the entertainment community to spread the word. “Please support your filmmakers and artists as our voice, share this fact with your media and write about us on your social media. The world does not turn towards us. We need your support and voice on behalf of Afghan women, children, artists and filmmakers. This is the biggest help we need right now. Please help us not to leave this world to the Afghans. Please help us before Kabul Taliban comes to power. We only have a few days.”
You can read Sahraa Karimi’s letter in full below or click here.
Karimi posted a video Saturday as she ran through the streets of Kabul, panicked that the Taliban was near. “Taliban have entered the city and we are running away. Everyone is afraid,” she said breathlessly.