No Escape: Arezoo Wakili on Her Life in Afghanistan

Senior Arezoo Wakili discusses what her life was like living in Afghanistan and how her family (who still lives in Afghanistan) are today after the takeover of the government by the Taliban.

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Jordyn Mobley

Ari Wakili is a senior at McIntosh who moved to the United States from Afghanistan back in 2017 in order to escape the turmoil revolving around the 20 year war in Afghanistan.

After 20 years, America has pulled out of the war in Afghanistan leaving the Taliban to take over once again. The takeover of the Taliban has created fear inside of many of the Americans who are still stuck in Afghanistan and the Afghan people as well. Arezoo Wakili is a senior at McIntosh who was originally born in Afghanistan, but moved to the United states back in 2017. Wakili still has family that lives in Afghanistan, so her worry will not diminish until she can be sure that they are safe.

When asked, Wakili reminisced on her life back in Afghanistan and how different it was from her life now. “It is not very safe at all [in Afghanistan]. If you go out at night it is super dangerous especially for girls. You can’t go out after eight or nine because anything could happen to you from getting robbed to getting murdered and the police are not doing very well to keep the people safe.”

Wakili went on to describe her thoughts surrounding the 20 year war in Afghanistan and how she lived through it for many years before moving to the United States. “It was devastating because it was an everyday thing, but I got used to it.”

When things in Afghanistan began to get extreme, her parents believed that the best option for their family would be to move to the United States and start a new life here. However, not all of Wakili’s family decided to move with them leaving Wakili and her parents to worry about them everyday.

“When we moved to the United States, my whole family was back there and I was like, ‘when am I going to see them’ and ‘do I have another chance to see them’ or talk to them. I wondered if it was possible to go back because the war was getting worse day by day and it wasn’t stopping.””

— Arezoo Wakili

Wakili conveyed that she would like to go back to Afghanistan eventually to see her family in person; yet, she does not know when that could be plausible. Nonetheless, she does get to talk to her family everyday over the phone to make sure they are well and everything is okay. Her parents gave her family in Afghanistan the option to come live with them in the United States; however, they were not willing to make the move.

“They’re doing okay today,” said Wakili when asked how her family is doing. “The area that they are in is super dangerous right now because of the Taliban’s takeover.”

The Taliban’s takeover has created many issues with traveling inside and outside of Afghanistan. “They have taken control over the airports and nobody can ever go in safely,” said Wakili.

When asked about how the war has affected her and her family, Wakili said, “It’s been both positive and negative. The reason my dad decided to move was to have a better opportunity because the war was not stopping. And it’s not a safe place. The negatives are that I can’t see my grandfather or my uncle and my other family. I am super thankful that we are here and we are safe, but they are still there and they are not safe.”

Overall, Wakili feels as though that citizens of the United States should be thankful for what they have because after experiencing life in both Afghanistan and the United States, the American lifestyle is a walk in the park.

“I think Americans should be grateful because they get to live in a safe country without worrying if they could die at any second. I also think that America needs to be thankful because they are not in a country where it’s at war everyday. They have so many opportunities.””

— Arezoo Wakili