Thanks to the efforts of the Polish Medical Mission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Polish mountaineers, two Afghan climbers, which after fleeing their homeland, spent the last months in Pakistan, found their way to Poland. Women came to the Krakow Mountain Festival. They do not want to return to their country anymore.
Afghan women, 21-year-old sisters Sara and 19-year-old Asma, met with journalists on Monday. Women have spent the last few months in exile in Pakistan. There, they obtained the required permits to enter Poland. They arrived in Krakow on Saturday. They have the right to stay until December 25, but there are many indications that they will stay longer, maybe permanently.
On their way to Poland is their friend, also a climber and student, Shahida.
The first since the evacuation
Katarzyna Olasińska-Chart from the Polish Medical Mission emphasized that such an operation is not easy. – A friend tried to bring a scientist from Afghanistan to Poland, she had letters of recommendation from the university, an invitation. This woman (scientist) had a passport, but did not get a visa – said Olasińska-Chart.
Previously, Afghans entered Poland primarily as part of the evacuation. Only one in three of them stayed in Poland. Olasińska-Chart, when asked by journalists whether Afghan women will stay in Poland after December 25, replied: – They will certainly not be in Poland illegally. We will not allow them to be in Poland illegally. There are legal options for it to be legal.
They say there is no hope for the women of Afghanistan
Afghan women, whose passion is mountain climbing, are to help, among others mountain organizations. Women will most likely be enrolled in colleges so that they can continue their education and obtain a residence permit. “I miss my family and friends, but now I can’t imagine going back,” said Asma, who studied Russian philology in Afghanistan.
Her sister Sara is of a similar opinion: “Now that Afghanistan is ruled by the Taliban, the future is uncertain. All the rights and possibilities that were before are not available now, she emphasized. She admitted that if the political situation in her country changed, she would want to come back. – But now it is very difficult there, and it is hard to imagine that it will get better. There is no hope, especially for women, she said.
Sara studied English and also taught English in a private school. – I would like to continue my studies, learn further and develop my passion for the mountains – she added.
A Polish climber prepared them for climbing
– It is our great success that we managed to get these girls. I believe that this is a gift from heaven for Christmas. It’s a miracle that we were able to help these three fantastic, strong girls. I feel in solidarity with them. I think that’s me, just 20 years ago. I wanted to travel too, but I lived in “demolition”, I had a passport in the militia, I couldn’t go anywhere, I had to ask for a visa everywhere. I was in the same situation. I spoke English, I was educated and I had to stay in People’s Poland until I managed to get away – recalled Olasińska-Chart.
PMM managed to bring women to Poland thanks to cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a group of mountaineers. Sara, Asma and Shahida are associated with Ascend, a US-based organization that organizes climbing courses for young Afghan women. Thanks to the support of this organization, the girls can go to democratic countries. Afghan women who wanted to come to Poland were getting ready to climb the Hindu Kush peaks under the watchful eye of Łukasz Kocewiak, a mountaineer.
Main photo source: PAP / Art Service