2 years on: Reflections on the fall of Kabul

15 August 2023

Australia’s growing Afghan community is invaluable to the fabric of our society. Today we think of our Afghan friends, colleagues and family members as we observe two years since Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul was captured by the Taliban. Here, some of our team share their thoughts, reflections and hopes for the future.

“I have been privileged enough to know, teach English to, share meals with, enjoy family and social events with, learn from, and work with Afghan women in Australia over many years. Two years ago when Kabul was taken by the Taliban, we know life changed insurmountably for women in Afghanistan. While the changes happened gradually, they were felt immediately. For women and mothers who remembered life under Taliban rule, I can only imagine the devastation they felt as they saw the hopes and dreams of their daughters, nieces and sisters disappear. I’m thinking of our Australian Afghan community on this difficult day.”- Jessica Billimoria, Head of CultureVerse.

Farida Malek, our Community Engagement Manager left Afghanistan as a child, and now generously shares her personal reflection after a recent visit. 

“With a lot of uncertainty, I travelled back to Afghanistan this year. Witnessing the vulnerability of its people and the profound fear young girls experienced due to predetermined circumstances was truly heartbreaking. 

The prospect of a future devoid of dreams, plans, and education was disheartening. The streets were filled with children yearning for education, passionately discussing their desire to attend school. 

When I asked a 13-year-old family member about her future aspirations, She fell silent, tears welling up in her eyes, and expressed that there seemed to be no future for them in Afghanistan. The restriction on attending school left her feeling hopeless. This question filled me with deep shame and guilt. As Afghanistan faces its second year of turmoil, it becomes apparent that the country is in disarray, with people struggling to meet their basic daily needs.

Given the prevailing uncertainty regarding the future of women in Afghanistan, I yearn for a state of tranquillity within our nation. I wish that every member of society could experience a peaceful life, with women and children attending schools and acquiring valuable skills. This empowerment would allow them to become pillars of support for both their families and society at large.”

Our hearts are with the Afghan community both here and abroad. If you’re looking for ways to stand in solidarity, visit The Afghan Australian Development Organisation (AADO).

Founded by Dr Nouria Salehi, AM, AADO is a voluntary, not-for-profit dedicated to taking action in support of women and girls in Afghanistan and within the Afghan Australian community.


Farida Sharifi
Community Engagement Manager, CultureVerse