A woman who moved from Afghanistan to Ireland after the US invasion says her entire family is living in fear as the Taliban continues its advance.
The Islamist group has taken control of a further three major cities in the past 24 hours and is now estimated to have control over more than two-thirds of the country.
There are fears it will now make a move on the capital city of Kabul within days.
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, Sharifa Wasie, who left Afghanistan and came to Ireland in 2001, said her friends and relatives at home are all terrified about what might happen next.
“Today it is a horrible situation,” she said. “Everyone is having a hard time - mean and women it doesn’t matter - but women and children are in a very bad and hard situation at the moment.
“Running away from their homes leaving their houses. I was watching on social media this morning a woman who just gave birth in – it is not even a camp, just on the street.
“She was giving birth to a child and my heart was broken when I heard her story.
“I was talking to my sister and she said every minute I am looking over the wall to see if the Taliban are climbing over the wall to tell her to leave her home.
“It is horrible; it is very hard. You are afraid for your life, afraid for your relatives – afraid of everything.”
While most of Sharifa’s family live in Kabul, she lived in the city of Herat for seven years before coming to Ireland.
She said it was sickening to see Herat fall to the Taliban today.
“I am feeling sick,” she said. “I have anxiety. It is really affecting me.”
“It is very sad. We still know people there. All the people in Afghanistan, they are still your blood you can feel their suffering.
“I love them. It is somewhere I lived about seven, eight years of my life and I know loads of people there. I know how good they are and today what has happened or what has happened in the last few days, it is very upsetting.
“Those people, they are all like me. They want freedom, they want peace – they don’t want war anymore.”
After growing up under the Taliban in Kabul, Sharifa said she fears the country will return to the way it was.
“It was a very difficult time to be a woman and be a mother. To be a teacher or anything in Afghanistan because the society is always affected by war – especially the attacks from the Mujaheddin and from the Taliban,” she said.
“It was all affecting women – especially the Taliban. They were the groups who were stopping women from going outside the houses and working.
“We were not able to do anything. You had to stay at home and you were getting beaten by the Taliban if you were seen by them outside of the house. Going shopping or going to a relative’s house or anywhere – alone especially.
“Everyone, even little girls of ten years old were afraid of the Taliban. They had to wear special coverings like the burka. You are not able to work, go outside the house or do anything. It is a very hard situation to be in.”
She said her fear now is for her family members in Kabul.
“Everyone is depressed about the situation,” she said. “They are afraid.
“My family is working for the Government, every one of them. The girls are teachers and the boys are engineers or architects or working with business sectors.
“They are all afraid because they worked all their lives for the Government and now there is someone coming who is hunting people who are working for the Government.”
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