I helped U.S. troops in Afghanistan. I’m safe now, but I worry for friends I left behind.
Program participant Seeta Habib and her family were resettled in Memphis in October 2020 through the special immigrant visa program. She and her husband had served as interpreters and journalists for U.S. forces in their home country, and they were consequently targeted by the Taliban. This is her story.
When the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in 1996, millions of Afghan girls were shut out of school. I was one of them.
It wasn’t until the eventual defeat of the Taliban government in 2001, when I was 13 years old, that I entered a school for the first time in five years.
It was one of the happiest days of my life, but it was still a dangerous time to be a girl in Afghanistan, seeking an education. I learned English secretly, in a private class outside of school, and when I graduated, I knew I wanted to be a part of Afghanistan’s reconstruction. I became a print journalist for a magazine operated by NATO’s security mission in Afghanistan, the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force in Farah, in the western part of Afghanistan. There, I covered ISAF activities having a positive impact in the community.