The Taliban knocked on her door every night

By Melody HansenLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

The Taliban have announced that all unmarried Afghan women and girls must marry Taliban members. If Marjan Abassi had not left her home country six years ago, she, now 20, could have been one of them. An emotional conversation about the current situation in Afghanistan.

Marjan Abassi radiates openness when she comes to the station district for the interview. The young woman wears a professional outfit. Her braided, almost black hair is loosely covered with a scarf. Her eyes are dark and deep, with a slight shadow underneath. In fluent French, she apologizes for the five-minute delay. The bus took a little longer. When our photographer asks her to strike various poses a little later, she doesn't appear uncomfortable. "No problem, you may take, photograph and write everything", she had said during the preliminary interview.

Marjan Abassi left Afghanistan in 2015 with her father and older brother. Her father was working as a doctor for the military hospital at the time. "The Taliban didn't want that. They wanted him to work for them instead because they needed doctors at the time", the 20-year-old says. Her father, however, definitely didn't want that. "They kept warning my father and threatening him."

The ultimatum

At the time, the family of six was living in a province of Afghanistan, a more rural area. The father and brother worked in the capital, Kabul, and only came home on Fridays to spend time with the family. "The Taliban would knock on our door every Friday and ask for my father, threatening him again." Sometimes, her father would go into hiding. And each time, the family feared for their lives. "The last time they came, before we escaped, they gave my father an ultimatum: Either he cooperates with them or else… " Marjan's mother immediately calls her husband, who is in the capital at the time. He should not come home, she says. Otherwise, something bad would happen.

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