"Please Pray for Us During These Terrifying Days": A Sobering Letter From Kabul
Editor's Note: This post was written before the Afghanistan election.
(Women for Afghan Women, a humanitarian organization I've supported for many years, runs a shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence in Kabul, and a smaller one in Mazar-i-sharif. In this urgent letter, Manizha Naderi details local conditions as the country prepared to vote on August 20th. I'm reprinting it here with WAW's permission. For more information about WAW, and to make a donation, go here.)
Wonderful Supporters of WAW,
Writing this quickly because internet keeps failing. Security is really bad in Kabul. Yesterday there were 2 suicide bombings and 6 rockets attacks. Today 5 suicide bombers were holding up a bank in the city. They were killed along with 4 police men. And I have been hearing the sounds of rockets all day today but the media is not allowed to report on any violence until after the elections.
I have been under a lot of stress lately. I have over 100 staff members and 112 people in our shelters to keep safe.
For the past two weeks, our staff have stayed in the office and we have not been doing home visits to clients. Starting today our centers are closed, and staff has been asked to stay at home. I've asked our drivers to take the cars home with them so if there are any emergencies, they can get to the shelter fast.
We currently have 68 women and 12 children in the Kabul shelter and 32 women and 4 children in the Mazar shelter. Last night the police called us and referred 2 new cases to us.
We have tried to ensure the participation of women in the elections. We have helped many women (our clients who are living at home rather than in our shelters) get registered to vote. I have also encouraged our staff to vote on election day.