Afghan filmmaker Sahraa Karimi says she has gotten out of Kabul after the director made headlines over the weekend with her open letter pleading with people to protect Afghan filmmakers and art from the Taliban. And through it all, she said that she continued filming what she witnessed.
“During these three days and nights, I protected six of my brother’s children, all of whom are girls; No one knows what happened to me,” she wrote on Twitter. “My brother has been in a bad condition for 24 hours now; But I did not forget to film; I filmed as far as I could so that we would not forget what they did to us.”
On Tuesday, Karimi sent a series of tweets saying that the Slovak Film and Television Academy, the President of Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Turkish Embassy and the Ambassador of Slovakia all helped so she could escape Kabul, along with 11 other people, adding that she is “alive and safe.”
But she also clarified that she applied for 20 days of urgent leave so that she could rescue her brother and his daughters, and she will “return to work” once her family is safe.
“My brother was dying in front of my eyes for the last 24 hours; He had a nervous breakdown and it was me and his children and wandering,” Karimi wrote. “For those who think rescuing my nephews is an escape; I leave it to their conscience. I have not escaped and I will not. According to the Administrative Reform Law, I applied for a leave of absence for 20 days; I will take my brother’s children to a safe place and if they leave, I will return to work.”
On Saturday, Karimi posted an open letter pleading with the entertainment community to spread the word about her situation, as well as a video onto TikTok of her running through the streets of Kabul panicked that the Taliban were near.
Sahraa Karimi is the director of “Hava, Maryam, Ayesha,” which played at the Venice Film Festival in 2019. See her tweets from Tuesday below: