Add news
March 2010April 2010May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021October 2021November 2021December 2021January 2022February 2022March 2022April 2022May 2022June 2022July 2022August 2022September 2022October 2022November 2022December 2022January 2023February 2023March 2023April 2023
News Every Day |

I fled Afghanistan 18 months ago with my brother and sister – we haven’t seen our parents since

I will never forget the last day I saw my mother and father.

It was August 2021 and the Taliban were taking over in Afghanistan. We were at Kabul airport trying to get on a flight out of the country. The army was using tear gas, there was shooting, and they were spraying water on people. We couldn’t see each other – it was terrifying. 

I was holding tight onto my younger sister and brother, but in the chaos, we became separated from our parents. I was 18 years old, my brother was 16, and my sister was eight. I haven’t seen my mother or father since, which was over a year and a half ago.

So I want to say – if your mum is near to you, please go and celebrate with her today on Mother’s Day.

Now, I can only message her but I can’t celebrate in person. I’m waiting for the day when I can be with her again.

Before the Taliban takeover, my family and I lived in the centre of Kabul. I had just finished my own studies and I was teaching children.

After our Government collapsed, we saw white Taliban flags outside some of the windows in our area and we knew that they supported the militant group. This was a scary moment – realising our neighbourhood had these members.

We believed that they had already identified me as a school teacher and had seen me going to work. The Taliban think women should stay at home and not work or study, so I was frightened about what would happen to me.

On top of that, my father ran a business renting out shops in a market, which made us a target because he used to work with western companies and the Taliban wanted to take it over. My brother was at risk of violence (he had already been attacked), and I was at risk of forced marriage.

Some of my aunts and uncles live in the UK and they were actually on holiday in Afghanistan at the time. So we decided that we had to try and leave and we thought we might be able to get to the UK with them.

At the airport, there was complete chaos and huge crowds – it was very difficult to go from one section to another. I put headphones on the ears of my little sister to try and stop her hearing the shooting. But even after, she still suffered from shock.

In the crush – at one checkpoint controlled by the Afghan army – I was able to drag my brother and sister with me into the airport, but my parents were left outside. We were taken by the US Army forces. I was shouting and screaming that I wanted my parents with us. I was so worried about my mother because she has asthma and struggles with breathing.

I told the soldiers that my mum and dad were outside. But they said if I went to be with them, I wouldn’t get back into the airport.

So we got on a flight. We went via the United Arab Emirates, where we were able to recharge our phones and I tried to contact my family, but I couldn’t. At that moment, I felt like I had lost my mother.

They had been using tear gas near the airport and I worried she’d had an asthma attack. I felt completely hopeless.  

When we got to Heathrow, I saw on the news that there had been a huge suicide attack at Kabul airport, in which over 170 Afghans died. It was a terrifying moment for me.

Zulikha Zazai headshot
I have taken on the responsibility of looking after my brother and sister (Picture: Zulikha Zazai)

After we arrived in the UK, we were placed in a hotel. For a whole week, we had no idea where our parents were, and we had nothing to do all day apart from worry about them.

They finally managed to get in touch with us through my uncle’s Facebook – we spoke to them and found out they had moved because our flat had been destroyed. It was looted by people who took almost everything – TV, carpet, furniture.

My parents are not safe in Afghanistan. The Taliban questioned them about where we were and took their phones too. They found our numbers – mine and my brother’s – and this made them more suspicious. 

My dad has had to change his phone number 10 times. On top of having asthma, my mum has diabetes too, but it is difficult for her to go outside to the hospital. That is because the Taliban don’t let women leave the house alone and my father can’t leave either because it is not safe for him. The whole situation is terrible – they have moved to a safer area, but everywhere is dangerous.

In the UK, I have taken on the responsibility of looking after my brother and sister. My little sister used to cry in the morning and say that she doesn’t want to go to school because she wants her mum and dad. I would reply: ‘Don’t worry, our mum and dad are coming. One day.’

When I see my sister so sad, I can’t control myself. My brother also wants and needs his parents. It’s hard living with such uncertainty.

After a long time in different hotels, I moved into my own home with my brother and sister in Yorkshire. It’s really tough for me. I am 19 years old now but I am like a mum to my siblings. I clean the house and cook, but I mostly stay at home and look at people outside. I have started a new course, but how can I focus on my education? 

I have asked the Home Office to help bring my parents over and I have spoken with three or four different lawyers. They all say to just wait, but it is now 19 months since we last saw them. It’s unbearable.

My message for the UK Government is: ‘Please just bring my mum and dad over. We just need a visa for them.’ The UK Government is powerful.

All people should have rights, it shouldn’t matter if they came on the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) for those who worked with the military, or the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), like we did.

I am a human. I have pain, family, and feelings – just like everybody else. I know many other Afghan families who were separated from close family too.

The problem seems to be that no one feels our pain. The Government should keep its promise to help Afghan people and change the unfair rules to allow refugee children to bring our parents to safety.

In the future, I’d like to study and work with computers. If my parents come to the UK, I can go to college, get a full-time job and have opportunities like other young people.

This Mother’s Day, I hope for every family and every mum to be near to her children.

I hope that by this same time next year, I can be reunited with my family.

The Refugee Council is campaigning to reunite separated refugee families, as part of The Families Together Coalition – you can find out more on their website here.

Immigration Nation

Immigration Nation is a series that aims to destigmatise the word ‘immigrant’ and explore the powerful first-person stories of people who’ve arrived in the UK – and called it home. If you have a story you’d like to share, email

MORE : Eight months after fleeing the Taliban, I'm still living in a hotel

MORE : I fled Afghanistan with my wife and three children and trekked across Europe to get to the UK

MORE : It took me 7 attempts to escape Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover


В России создадут приложение на основе ИИ, определяющее неполадки в машине по звуку

How This Woman Creates God of War s Sound Effects Obsessed WIRED

How a Master Chef s Brooklyn Restaurant Earned a Michelin Star in Its First Year Mise En Place

Teyana Taylor's Date Night Glam Beauty Secrets Vogue

The Most Bitter Sibling Rivalries in History

Read also

Alonso hails "best qualifying" of F1 2023 despite being behind Mercedes

Report suggests one man Tottenham could easily replace Fabio Paratici with

Shakira ‘setting up new life in Miami & will leave Spain for good by end of week after cosying up with mystery man’

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on

News Every Day

The Most Bitter Sibling Rivalries in History — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here

News Every Day

Teyana Taylor's Date Night Glam Beauty Secrets Vogue

Sports today

Новости тенниса

Болельщики и теннисисты не смогут использовать флаги России на Уимблдоне

Спорт в России и мире

Дацик проиграл Джонсону раздельным решением судей

All sports news today

Sports in Russia today


Дацик проиграл Джонсону раздельным решением судей

Новости России

Game News

Wordle hint and answer #651: Saturday, April 1


Веселое похудение: врач рассказал, сколько килокалорий можно сжечь за час смеха

Губернаторы России
Родион Газманов

Родион Газманов четко высказался о позднем материнстве

Специалисты приступили к промывке фонтанов на Манежной площади

С 1 мая Васьково будет принимать самолёты авиакомпании S7

AZANOV (настоящее имя: Александр Азанов) – исполнитель, пробующий себя в разных стилях, но по-прежнему отдающий предпочтение лирике. Музыкант из города Оса (Пермский край)

Лев Лещенко, Екатерина Гусева, Алексей Воробьев и другие российские звезды поздравили композитора Олега Иванова с юбилеем

Баста опустился до метро - чисто попеть

Певица Полина Гагарина продолжает ссориться с Бастой на шоу «Голос»

В Люберцах презентовали книгу о певце и композиторе Александре Барыкине

Юрий Лоза назвал лотереи «чистейшей воды лохотроном»

Формула-2. Австралия. Хаугер выиграл 1-ю гонку, Кроуфорд – 2-й, Маини – 3-й

Теннисист Медведев о финале турнира в Майами: знаю, что могу победить кого угодно

Болельщики и теннисисты не смогут использовать флаги России на Уимблдоне

Аврора, Анна Тихомирова, Марика Кравцова и другие гости дегустации специального меню ресторана Rocky 2

AZANOV (настоящее имя: Александр Азанов) – исполнитель, пробующий себя в разных стилях, но по-прежнему отдающий предпочтение лирике. Музыкант из города Оса (Пермский край)

Ред Вингс в апреле начинает летать из Сочи в Стамбул

Веселое похудение: врач рассказал, сколько килокалорий можно сжечь за час смеха

Как началось государство на Руси

Отношения России и Кубы не будут зависеть от прихотей США — Лавров

Провести свой КОНЦЕРТ

Несостоявшийся соперник казахстанского чемпиона лиги Хабиба вновь бросил ему дерзкий вызов

Талантливый незрячий музыкант из Карабаха Акоп Бабаян: музыка без границ

В Подмосковье проходит голосование по выбору территорий для установки уличного освещения

Какой праздник отмечают 2 апреля 2023 года: важные события для России и других стран

Неизвестные отравили кондора Кузю из Московского зоопарка

Юридическое лицо Electronic Arts ликвидировано в России

Путин в России и мире

Персональные новости

Антон Немкин

Эксперимент по интеграции ЭДО не затрагивает личные бумаги госслужащих - такие как документы об увольнении, трудовые книжки и многое другое

News Every Day

The Most Bitter Sibling Rivalries in History

Friends of Today24

Музыкальные новости

Персональные новости