Afghan-Canadian scared for family members in Kabul: ‘It’s heartbreaking’


An Edmonton woman is reflecting on a life path that would have never been available to her had she remained in Afghanistan.

Marghalara Rashid holds a PhD in medical sciences and is an accomplished researcher with numerous awards.

The research associate at the University of Alberta said her current life could’ve easily slipped away from her.

Read more:
‘We are desperate’: The frightening new reality faced by the women of Afghanistan

“[The situation many people are facing…] that could definitely be me. That could be one of my sisters. We could be living that suppressed life.”

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Marghalara Rashid with her family in an undated photo

Marghalara Rashid with her family in an undated photo.


Courtesy: Marghalara Rashid

Rashid said it still feels shocking and surreal to see images of the current crisis in Afghanistan, particularly in Kabul, where she grew up.

“My mom and dad were both professors at Kabul University. We were raised on campus.

“I have amazing, beautiful memories of Afghanistan.”

Rashid and her family left the country and immigrated to Canada in 2004.

Read more:
Canadian special forces operating outside Kabul airport amid growing danger: officials

“We came at the time when the Taliban were ruling — that was the main concern for my parents. They wanted to get us out and make sure we could get an education.”

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She still has family back in Kabul, who are amid growing danger. Many are in hiding or desperately trying to escape the country, Rashid said.

“They don’t have a voice anymore. I am very scared for them.

“It’s disturbing. It’s heartbreaking to see we are going back to the dark ages. It’s a matter of life or death.”


Click to play video: 'Afghan exodus: Families in Canada worried about loved ones under Taliban rule'



Afghan exodus: Families in Canada worried about loved ones under Taliban rule


Afghan exodus: Families in Canada worried about loved ones under Taliban rule

Rashid has kept a close eye on federal aid. She said she wants the government to help more people as violence in Kabul intensifies.

Read more:
Afghanistan crisis: NDP’s Singh slams Trudeau government for not doing more to help

“I really want people to know that we can’t shut our doors on these people,” she said.

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“When I was just a little girl and I always knew that Canada was a peacekeeping nation.

“Let’s give these people an opportunity. They would love for Canadians to have an open mind and to support them.”

A family photo from Marghalara Rashid

A family photo from Marghalara Rashid.


Courtesy: Marghalara Rashid

The Afghan-Canadian said she feels there is a stigma toward people living under Taliban rule. Rashid underscored that no one desires to be oppressed.

“This is not what they want. This is imposed on them. It is forced on them and they have no other option.”


Click to play video: 'Trudeau: Canada redoubling Afghanistan rescue efforts'



Trudeau: Canada redoubling Afghanistan rescue efforts


Trudeau: Canada redoubling Afghanistan rescue efforts

While family and friends have had their own voices taken away, Rashid said she will not be quieted.

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“There are young girls in Afghanistan, just like me, waiting for a life-altering opportunity.”

There will be a rally at the Alberta legislature on Saturday as a display of support for those living through the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.


Click to play video: 'Afghanistan crisis: Canada to continue evacuations until no longer safe, says Minister Mendicino'



Afghanistan crisis: Canada to continue evacuations until no longer safe, says Minister Mendicino


Afghanistan crisis: Canada to continue evacuations until no longer safe, says Minister Mendicino


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