The Shaq family fled Jalalabad after several attacks on the media company that had been built up over the past twenty years. “We broadcast movies and music on our channels and do programs on human rights and reports critical of politics,” Shayeq says with a smile. “The Taliban don’t like that.”
The Sharq network has been popular with Western forces in Afghanistan in recent decades. The Shaiq family was one of many Afghan families to put their fate in the hands of NATO countries, who pledged to build a more free and open Afghanistan. “From the moment we got the American money, we really grew,” Shaig says. “They loved what we did.”
right to study
But that success story came to a halt last weekend with a heavy blow. At the kitchen table, Hanna, the 24-year-old daughter, constantly calls and texts friends in Kabul, who have been sitting at home nervous for days. Two students were also on campus, searching archives for lists of students’ names. But according to Hannah, it was destroyed in time.
“Afghan future leaders were trained at the American University, and there were students from all over the country. The girls got a scholarship and they can study there,” says Henna. “Conservative Afghans called us ‘America’s Children,’ so there was a lot of opposition. But we fought and defended our right to study.”
Student Hanna Shayeq explains why she and her friends in Kabul felt abandoned by America and other NATO countries, after the army left and the Taliban recaptured the capital:
“Infuriatingly humble social media buff. Twitter advocate. Writer. Internet nerd.”