American movie star and rights activist Angelina Jolie just joined Instagram to share stories of Afghan people and others fighting for their rights. Her first post was a message from a young Afghan girl talking about the Taliban takeover of the country.
"This is a letter I was sent from a teenage girl in Afghanistan. Right now, the people of Afghanistan are losing their ability to communicate on social media and to express themselves freely. So I’ve come on Instagram to share their stories and the voices of those across the globe who are fighting for their basic human rights," Jolie wrote.
The letter reads, verbatim:
"Fear from Taliban.
I am [redacted] young girl. I live in [redacted] Afghanistan, before Taliban came in [redacted], we all went to work, school, [redacted] properly. We all had rights, we was able to defend our rights freely, but when they came, we are all afraid of them, and we think all our dreams are gone.
We think our rights have been violated we can not got out. Studying and working is to too far away, but some people say they Talibans change but I do not think so because they have a very bad past. One day they come to our house and we were all scared and after that day I thought about what kind of time I should go to school in the morning in this situation, because of their existence or when I came home from course again, the air was dark but I could come home very easily but now I can not go to the course easily.
I think the course will be closed. May be we can go back to last 20 years, and again we have no rights the life of all of us is dark, we all lost our freedom and we are imprisoned again (sic)."
The actor has been a longtime advocate of human rights and recently wrote an opinion piece in the Times on the hasty American exit from Afghanistan and the impact it will have on the Afghan people, particularly women and children. She is also a special envoy for the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
"I was on the border of Afghanistan two weeks before 9/11, where I met Afghan refugees who had fled the Taliban. This was twenty years ago," she wrote in her Instagram post.
"It is sickening to watch Afghans being displaced yet again out of the fear and uncertainty that has gripped their country. To spend so much time and money, to have blood shed and lives lost only to come to this, is a failure almost impossible to understand," she said.
Watching for decades how Afghan refugees — some of the most capable people in the world — are treated like a burden is also sickening, Jolie said. "Knowing that if they had the tools and respect, how much they would do for themselves. And meeting so many women and girls who not only wanted an education, but fought for it."
Like others who are committed, I will not turn away, she vowed. "I will continue to look for ways to help. And I hope you’ll join me."