Pop star Aryana Sayeed has escaped Afghanistan in the wake of the country’s takeover by the Taliban.
The Afghan Bache Kabul singer, 36, revealed on social media that she managed to travel to Qatar on a US cargo jet with her husband, music producer Hasib Sayed.
“I had said in one of my recent interviews that I will be the last soldier to leave the Motherland, and interestingly enough, that is exactly what happened,” she wrote on her Instagram.
The singer revealed she flew from Doha to Istanbul, before confirming she has now made it safely to the US.
“Wanted to let everyone know that we have finally landed in the US after four days of travelling and exhaustion,” Sayeed said in an Instagram post on Saturday. The post shows a picture of hygiene essentials, including shampoo, toothpaste and hand sanitiser, given to the singer by the American Red Cross.
“Far from home but we are well, safe and extremely grateful,” The Voice star wrote. “And yet I simply cannot stop thinking about our people and those who did not have the same option as me and many others to get to a safe location.”
Thousands of Afghans flocked to the airport in Kabul last week as foreign diplomats and security forces left the Afghan capital to be overrun by the Taliban. Crowds of men, women and children gathered in and around Hamid Karzai International Airport, hoping to secure a place in one of the planes leaving the country. Images and videos from the scene showed hundreds chasing a military plane as it took off with foreign diplomats and staff on board. Those clinging to the plane were seen falling off as the aircraft took off.
“I can’t believe you left Afghanistan in chaos,” Sayeed wrote in an Instagram post on Saturday, tagging US President Joe Biden and the United Nations. "Taking a few thousand civilians and American citizens out of Afghanistan is appreciated but it won’t solve the problem. What about the millions who are left behind? Thousands of them displaced with no shelter, no food to eat and nowhere to go. What will happen to them?”
A vocal critic of the Taliban, Sayeed is one of Afghanistan’s most celebrated pop stars. While she sings mostly in Persian and Dari, she also has several songs in Pashto. Sayeed was born in Afghanistan and lived in the country until she was 8. She then moved with her family to Pakistan before settling in Switzerland. She released her debut single Mashallah in 2008, but it was her 2011 track Afghan Pesarak that made her a sensation in Afghanistan. Sayeed moved back to Afghanistan after that and became a driving force in the country’s pop scene.