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She Escaped The Taliban. Now She Fears U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan

President Biden says the U.S. military will withdraw from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack that prompted a protracted war and years-long occupation in the region.

Critics argue that the exit could allow the Taliban to regain power as they did from 1996 to 2001, threatening the well-being of Afghan men and, particularly, women, who were stripped of their rights by the insurgent group.

Zarifa Hamidi was 7 years old in 2000 when the Taliban killed her father and forced her family to flee their village in northern Afghanistan. Her mother, who was not allowed to work because she was a woman, had to put Hamidi and her siblings in an orphanage.

Hamidi, who now lives in the U.S., speaks with Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd about her experience and how that has shaped her belief that the U.S. should not leave Afghanistan.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Zarifa Hamidi, center with white paper, in the early 2000s at an orphanage in Afghanistan. (Courtesy)
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Zarifa Hamidi, center with white paper, in the early 2000s at an orphanage in Afghanistan. (Courtesy)