Afghan woman crying during Protest outside at UNHCR, afghan family protesting and demanding to be given refugee status in India. – New Delhi, India-Aug 24 2021 (Shutterstock)
By News 12 Staff
An Afghan refugee with ties to Westchester County recounted to News 12 her escape from the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Freshta Nazari is now safely in the United States and awaiting notification of her refugee status at a military base in New Jersey. Her cousin Sofia Bator, of Ossining, translated for her. “She’s safe and she’s very excited in starting her new life,” Bator translated. Nazari’s life was in danger when American forces left Afghanistan at the end of August and the Taliban took control. The Taliban beat the 25-year-old women’s rights activist as she and thousands of other Afghans descended on Kabul Airport.
“Taliban beat her at the checkpoints several times to the point that she was bleeding,” Bator said. “She said, ‘When I get there, it was horrible. I saw people in front of me, Taliban shoot them, killed them.'” Nazari is one of the fortunate ones who escaped but is now worried about her parents who are still in the country. “Right now, I’m safe, I’m OK, but unfortunately, I can’t do anything for them, and I don’t know where they are,” Nazari said. So Nazari now prays for her parents back home but also looks forward to reuniting with her only relative here in the U.S. Bator fought for weeks and reached out to countless officials to help get her cousin out of Afghanistan. “She said ‘I can’t wait to see her and hug her. Sofia is the one who saved my life,'” Bator translated. Nazari’s life’s mission now is to continue fighting for women’s rights in her country and around the world. Nazari said she recently had her interview with immigration officials and is hoping to find out in the next couple of weeks whether she’ll be able reunite with her cousin in Westchester County.