Malala is 'deeply worried' about women and minorities in Afghanistan as Taliban takes over

Khaled Hosseini, Sultan Al Qassemi and Sami Yusuf have also shared their thoughts across social media

Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace prize laureate Malala Yousafzai attends an event about the importance of education and women empowerment in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 9, 2018. - The event is promoted by a private bank and the Malala Fund, that aims to build a global movement to ensure girls at least 12 years of schooling. (Photo by Miguel SCHINCARIOL / AFP)

Malala Yousafzai has weighed in on the situation in Afghanistan. "We watch in complete shock," the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, known mononymously as Malala, wrote on Twitter on Sunday, as the Taliban took control of capital Kabul.

The Pakistani activist is known for her human rights advocacy, particularly in the sphere of education of women and children.

"I am deeply worried about women, minorities and human rights advocates. Global, regional and local powers must call for an immediate ceasefire, provide urgent humanitarian aid and protect refugees and civilians."

As Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other diplomats fled the country, and the Taliban declared the "war is over", other cultural figures shared their thoughts on the situation across social media.

Afghan-American novelist Khaled Hosseini, best known for his works The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, wrote: "The people of Afghanistan do not deserve this."

He also shared a plea to his nearly 70,000 followers on Twitter to send donations to the UNHCR to help Afghan families displaced by violence.

Before the Taliban took over Kabul, Hosseini wrote: "The American decision has been made. And the nightmare Afghans feared is unfolding before our eyes. We cannot abandon a people that have searched 40 years for peace. Afghan women must not be made to languish again behind locked doors & pulled curtains."

American actress Azita Ghanizada, who was born in Afghanistan, wrote on Monday morning: "I am gutted," with a broken heart emoji. "Kids showing up for school. Even though it’s closed. Teachers saying goodbye to the young girls who likely won’t be able to return. This is what we leave behind. The undoing of 20 years of progress, overnight. May they all be safe."

Emirati cultural commentator Sultan Al Qassemi also shared his thoughts on how the change in power will affect education. "I wish Arab Gulf States' governments hurry to accept in their universities Afghan students whose education is disrupted by the ongoing events."

British musician Sami Yusuf, who was born in Iran, shared a poem on Instagram by the 17th-century Afghan poet Rahman Baba, alongside a photo of Afghanistan's mountains with the flag in the foreground.

Afghan-Australian radio presenter Maz Hakim, who lives in Dubai, also shared numerous posts on her social media accounts, including a video of the masses trying to flee from Kabul airport, as well as a photograph of children trying to attend school.

"A wilted flower, dark and destroyed," she wrote in another post. "The last 20 years of progress, entertainment, art, science and education unimaginably removed in an instant. Praying for the millions of Afghans whose future is uncertain, unstable and unsafe. Praying for the valiant women who had a taste of freedom and education. Only time will tell what the future of this country holds."

Artist Shamsia Hassani, who is known as Afghanistan's first female street artist, has been sharing her paintings inspired by the situation in her homeland over the past few weeks. Her latest work, seen below, is of a woman holding a plant in front of a shadowy Taliban figure.

"Maybe it is because our wishes have grown in a black pot," she wrote in the caption. "Taliban, fear, stress, war, peace..."

Updated: August 16th 2021, 11:59 AM
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