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Yalda Hakim: My return to Afghanistan (BBC)

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Hospital workers in a Kabul hospital speak to the BBC's Yalda Hakim

BBC presenter Yalda Hakim was born in Afghanistan. Her family fled in the 1980s, during the Soviet occupation, but she has regularly reported from the country since. Now she has returned for the first time since the Taliban seized power 100 days ago.

I knew that my first return to the country of my birth since the Taliban swept to power in August would raise many questions for me.

How much has the nation changed since the Taliban ousted the Western-backed government? Would the Afghan people finally get the peace they have longed for? What future would there be for women and girls who are already being pushed out of public life by their new rulers?

There was one question however I had not expected to be asking myself. What strength must it take to come to work, day after day, week after week, month after increasingly harrowing month, without getting paid?

But that is exactly what I have found out. From healthcare workers in Kandahar to cleaners at Kabul hospitals, none of Afghanistan’s public healthcare staff have been paid since the government fell and foreign aid came to a halt.



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