- Title: Germany-based Afghan women give voice to compatriots in need at home
- Date: 23rd August 2021
- Summary: MUNICH, GERMANY (AUGUST 22, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR AFGHAN WOMEN IN MUNICH SEATED AROUND TABLE IN DISCUSSION (SOUNDBITE) (German) ARUSU DANISH FORMULI, SAYING: "The best option is simply to be a voice for the women in Afghanistan right now because they don't have the opportunity to be heard. They are in such a precarious situation at the moment, cut off. They prefer to stay at home because it is safer." FORMULI'S HANDS (SOUNDBITE) (German) ARUSU DANISCH FORMULI, SAYING: "When the new refugees arrive we will definitely be there to be a helping hand and support them, just to make their arrival here in Germany easier. What we didn't have back then and I definitely missed it." FORMULI LOOKING AT SAHRANAI SCHLATZER (SOUNDBITE) (German) SAHRANAI SCHLATZER, SAYING: "You are always thinking: What is the best way to help? One feels so helpless. But we don't give up. We don't want pity. We want to get involved where we can. We want to help because that is the only thing we can do. There's nothing else to do at the moment." (SOUNDBITE) (German) LIDA ZARIF, SAYING: "I am very worried because I have had no contact with my women for two days. My state of health is very bad because I didn't hear anything from the women." (SOUNDBITE) (German) SAHRANAI SCHLATZER, SAYING: "It should not be forgotten that there are many women who still take to the streets. They take to the streets because they are saying: I don't want to be at home anymore, I've fought for far too long for that. I'd rather die on the streets than at home because I'd rather fight for my freedom on the streets, and I think that's so strong and I'm really proud of these women and we can all be." SCHLATZER'S HANDS (SOUNDBITE) (German) ARUSU DANISCH FORMULI, SAYING: "First of all: Afghanistan is not a safe country of origin. For years, it was repeatedly described as a safe country of origin, and deportations took place. Shortly before the Taliban came to power and invaded, airplanes were provided for deportations. Afghanistan is no safe country of origin." WOMEN TALKING TO EACH OTHER ZARIF TALKING (SOUNDBITE) (German) LIDA ZARIF, SAYING: "I hope the (German government) is taking it seriously and won't recognise the Taliban regime." MAHBUBA MAQSOODI TALKING (SOUNDBITE) (German) MAHBUBA MAQSOODI, SAYING: "I hope for all Islamic countries that at some point religion will stay at the mosque while the state takes on the responsibility that fits the 21st century." MAQSOODI SEEN AS REFLECTION ON SMARTPHONE ON TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (German) MAHBUBA MAQSOODI, SAYING: "The cause could be better addressed if there were investments in education. As an example, if we had normal schools instead of koran schools. If that was just a small part of the aid package for Afghanistan, then we would have better education, then those young men who went to that school would never have picked up guns." WOMEN SEATED AROUND TABLE AND TALKING VARIOUS OF NAQSOODI TALKING TO FRIEND IN KABUL
- Embargoed: 6th September 2021 11:14
- Keywords: Afghanistan Taliban conflict evacuation refugees women
- Location: MUNICH, GERMANY
- City: MUNICH, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Europe
- Reuters ID: LVA001ERI3EX3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:"We don't want pity, we want to get involved", says Sahrani Schlatzer.
Born 31 years ago in Kabul, Schlatzer fled with her family to Munich in 1996, when the Taliban came to power in her home country.
Today, Schlatzer still lives in Munich and supports the women's association for Afghan women. Her mother Lida Zarif is also part of the organisation as is Arusu Danisch Formuli who is 33 and who came to Germany from Kabul in 1995, and 64-year-old artist Mahbubab Maqsoodi, who fled her hometown Herat 40 years ago.
The group of women regularly meets at a cafe in Munich where they organise events not only for Afghan women but in support of migrants from across the world.
They all still have close contacts to Afghanistan, worry about their family members and friends in various parts of the country, and for women who face the oppressive rule of the Taliban regime again.
"The best option is simply to be a voice for the women in Afghanistan right now because they don't have the opportunity to be heard. They are in such a precarious situation at the moment, cut off. They prefer to stay at home because it is safer," said Formuli.
The women are determined to help Afghan refugees when they arrive in Germany.
"We will definitely be there to be a helping hand and support them, just to make their arrival here in Germany easier, something we didn't have back then and I definitely missed it," said Formuli.
(Production: Ayhan Uyanik, Ulrike Heil)
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