Angelina Jolie has joined Instagram, hoping to use it to amplify the voices of those fighting for their basic human rights, including the thousands who have fled Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover.
The actress has racked up more than 5 million Instagram followers in less than a day since she joined the social media platform. Her first and only post so far showcases a handwritten letter the Maleficent actress was sent by a teenage girl in Afghanistan. The post was liked by more than two million Instagram users in the first 19 hours since it was posted.
In her letter, the teenager, whose name and location were blurred out for her safety, describes the fear many in the country have been experiencing since the Taliban took control of Kabul last week.
“Before the Taliban came in, we all went to work and school,” she wrote. “We all had rights, we were able to defend our rights freely but when they came, we were all afraid of them and we think all our dreams are gone. We think our rights have been violated and we cannot go out […] We lost our freedom, and are imprisoned again.”
In the caption to her post, Jolie stated why she decided to create an Instagram account after famously staying away from social media for years.
“Right now, the people of Afghanistan are losing their ability to communicate on social media and to express themselves freely,” wrote Jolie, who is a UN Special Envoy and represented the UNHCR as a Goodwill Ambassador from 2001 to 2012.
“So I’ve come on Instagram to share their stories and the voices of those across the globe who are fighting for their basic human rights.”
The actress also revealed that she was at the border of Afghanistan two weeks before 9/11 and had met Afghan refugees who were fleeing the Taliban.
“It is sickening to watch Afghans being displaced yet again out of the fear and uncertainty that has gripped their country,” she wrote.
“Watching for decades how Afghan refugees – some of the most capable people in the world – are treated like a burden is also sickening. Knowing that if they had the tools and respect, how much they would do for themselves. And meeting so many women and girls who not only wanted an education, but fought for it. Like others who are committed, I will not turn away. I will continue to look for ways to help. And I hope you’ll join me.”