Afghanistan’s biggest female pop star escapes amid Taliban ‘shock’

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As women and girls plead for their livelihoods under strict Taliban rule, the nation’s biggest pop star, Aryana Sayeed, has confirmed her escape from war torn Afghanistan.

Sayeed, 36, who had recently starred as a judge on a singing competition show on Afghan television, told reporters she left via US cargo jet on Wednesday.

The singer is among the lucky few as expats from around the world struggle to find flights out of the country.

“I am well and alive and after a couple of unforgettable nights, I have reached Doha, Qatar and am awaiting my eventual flight back home to Istanbul,” Sayeed told her 1.3 million Instagram followers.

From Doha, she continued to Turkey where she resides full time with husband Hasib Sayed, an Afghan music producer. “After I get home and my mind and emotions return back to normal from a world of disbelief and shock, I have many stories to share with you,” she said in her emotional social media message.

Aryana Sayeed told her 1.3 million Instagram followers that she is in a “state of disbelief and shock” amid her escape from Afghanistan: “I have many stories to share with you.”
Instagram

The Daily Mail reports that Sayeed has been an outspoken advocate for the Afghan Army, before the US military withdrew from Afghanistan earlier this month after a 20-year occupation, leaving space for the Taliban’s takeover.

Other prominent Afghan women have not been so fortunate, including governor of the Hazara district, Salima Mazari, who was reported arrested on Wednesday. Many fear Mazari, who openly criticized the terrorist group, may be executed.

Kim Kardashian West (L) and Singer-Songwriter Aryana Sayeed (R) attend the Hype Energy Drinks U.S. Launch on June 2, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Kim Kardashian and singer-songwriter Aryana Sayeed attend the Hype Energy Drinks U.S. Launch on June 2, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Getty Images
Aryana Sayeed
Aryana Sayeed has spoke openly about her support for the Afghan Army, before being overthrown by Taliban militants as US allies withdrew from Afghanistan.
AFP via Getty Images

Mazari’s family are Shia Muslims, while the Taliban are Sunnis. The two Islamic denominations have warred over interpretation of their holy scripts for centuries.

A spokesperson for the militant jihadist group, Waheedullah Hashimi, told reporters on Thursday, “Our ulema (scholars) will decide whether girls are allowed to go to school or not. They will decide whether they should wear hijab, burqa, or only (a) veil plus abaya or something, or not. That is up to them.”

He added, “There will be no democratic system at all because it does not have any base in our country.”

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