It is on condition of anonymity that Atéfé (not her real name) has agreed to give herself up to Euronews. This 26-year-old Afghan journalist has been taking refuge in Clermont-Ferrand for a fortnight, after having fled her country.

Veil on her head and sunglasses on her nose, the young woman agreed to describe her journey to Kabul airport. In front of our camera, Atéfé also decided to keep his surgical mask to avoid reprisals that his family, who remained in Afghanistan, could suffer.


She was only six years old when the United States launched war to “liberate” the country from the Taliban. Twenty years later, it is these same “tyrants”, as she calls them, who push her to flee.

The young woman managed to leave the country a day before the deadly Kabul airport attacks, claimed by the Islamic State organization.

Contacted by the French Embassy, ​​”we got on a bus and we were told to go see the French soldiers at the airport,” she says. “But it was a real journey to get there,” she recalls.

“The airport had been surrounded by the Taliban. We finally managed to enter it through the back door, there were fewer Taliban there,” she explains. Then, “three days of waiting were necessary in the airport before being able to speak with a French officer and present the documents to him” she said.

When the plane finally took off, the young woman says she was crossed by conflicting feelings. “I was happy, I was finally safe” but “I was thinking of my family, of my friends”.

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“Why do I have to leave my country, leave my city, my entourage? Everyone loves their country, where we received our education, where we were born, where we were brought up,” she laments.

Dark future

Before the arrival of the Taliban, Kabul was already an unstable city, with “daily explosions” she says.

“When I left the house, my mother called me several times” to ask for news. “Even before the Taliban it was difficult for a woman to work or to express herself freely in society,” she said.

However, the future of Afghanistan is, more than ever, “obscure” according to Atéfé. The young woman, who is part of a group of fifty Afghans hosted by the CeCler association, has managed to join her husband, who has been a refugee in France for four years.

On the spot, the arrival of these refugees has instilled a surge of solidarity with the French who send many messages to the association to help, as noted by the CEO of CeCler, Dominique Charmeil.

“There is a strong mobilization because what is happening has affected the French, civil society” she notes.

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