Aryana Sayeed, a popular singer, songwriter, and TV personality from Afghanistan shared details about her harrowing journey across the Afghan border. According to the star, who is known for her mission to give voices to the voiceless Afghan woman, was forced to cover herself out of fear she would be recognized by the Taliban. Her international fame kept her in constant danger as she and her fiancé, Hasib Sayed, fled the country.
“I was feeling that I’m going to die here, literally,” she admitted during an Access Hollywood interview. “I was hopeless.”
The pair had reservations for a commercial flight out of Afghanistan on Aug. 15, but the Taliban had different plans. When the soldiers entered Kabul, Aryana Sayeed’s plans were ruined. The flight didn’t take off and the singer was forced to flee. She gained shelter from relatives and hid from Taliban soldiers until her second escape attempt could be made.
When Aryana and her fiancé heard that Taliban soldiers would be searching door-to-door, they knew they had to leave. Concealed behind a veil, Aryana and her fiancé fled to a U.S. army base where there was potential for them to evacuate the country.
She recalled passing “through five Taliban checkpoints.” One even stopped her car, the star admitted. Thankfully when one of the soldiers saw her and her fiancé’s younger cousin, who was with her at the time, he let them go. Her fiancé had gone in a different car. He secured passage into the military base with the help of fellow Afghan people who told U.S. officials that the Taliban would kill Hasib Sayed if he stayed.
With passage inside the base, Aryana Sayeed was escorted towards the entrance. “This is like a miracle that we’re getting out,” she told the interviewer. She and her fiancé flew out of the country on a U.S. military plane on Aug. 17. They landed in Doha, Qatar. By Aug. 19, they landed in the United States.
Aryana Sayeed recalled the horrifying scene at the airport just before she earned her freedom on the U.S. military plane. She told the interviewer that “the airport was in chaos, everyone was trying to escape, get out of Afghanistan.”
She continued, saying that “it is just really heartbreaking. The kids, small babies screaming, crying, women crying. Right now I have shivers in my hands when I’m talking about it. Women were fainting and they were trying to get them out of the crowd but there was just no space. No space to take them even out and they were stuck there.”
At one point, Aryana noticed that many people in the crowd were gasping for air because too many people had been packed closely together. One pair – a woman and her baby – was especially difficult to ignore.
“The baby was screaming and I was like, this baby is going to die any minute now,” Aryana Sayeed explained. “And [the mother] handed the baby to me and she was screaming saying to the soldiers: ‘Look, I’m an American citizen. Let me in.”
The woman did not have proper identification so she was denied entry. She wanted Aryana to take the baby to America.
“She was in a very bad situation at that moment,” Aryana said through tears. “My second thought is telling me if I take the baby in and then the mother cannot make it, what is going to happen?”
She admitted that she could not “separate a baby from the mother, and the mother actually wanted me to take the baby but then I couldn’t. The soldiers asked me if this was my baby and I said, ‘Look it’s not mine but could you please let her in because the baby is gonna die,’ and they said, ‘I’m sorry madam. We cannot do that…’”
“I am actually truly concerned and worried about the millions of Afghan people who are left behind…” she added. “They are hopeless, absolutely hopeless. They are left with no food and no shelter and they are living in fear right now. And my heart just bleeds for them.”
Aryana Sayeed is using her platform to “spread the word” about what is happening inside Afghanistan. She wants to share her story and a message to the world so that people feel inclined to help the Afghan people. “That’s all I can do,” she said. “And I’m not going to give up.”