As time is running out for the US military presence in Afghanistan during the summer, Najlla Habibyar, a 37-year-old Afghan living in Kabul, is considering leaving the country. A US green card holder, she was one of thousands of Afghans who had worked closely with the US government – an association that she suspected made her an ideal target for the Taliban.
But in a lightning-fast offensive in early August that seemed to take everyone by surprise, the Taliban swept the country all the way to Kabul, and suddenly the nation was theirs.
Ms. Habibiyar, effectively trapped behind enemy lines, prepared to die.
In the Opinion video above, Ms Habibyar, using video diaries she sent to the New York Times over the course of several weeks, documents her life on the run as she and about 20 of her family members get away from it all. move from a safe home to a safe home while seeking an escape. route outside the country. She recorded the diaries knowing they could be her last chance to share her story with the world.
“I think it’s only a matter of time for the Taliban to find me,” she said.
During this fight for survival, she struggled with the painful truths of her long-standing and deeply troubled relationship with Afghanistan, a country she loved, but never truly loved her in return.
Its story, in some ways, is the story of generations of Afghans and their struggle to find a stable home in the midst of relentless political uncertainty, armed conflict and loss.