193 - Afghan Women Refugees in America

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The story of a group of young Afghan women journalists, musicians and activists, how they fled their country in fear for their lives when the Taliban took over their nation, and how they are navigating life today in the US.

Many of these women were well known in their country as TV personalities, women wearing western clothing, their hair uncovered, who interviewed women and men on the popular morning news shows.

“My background in the TV was one of biggest reason for them to kill me,” says Taban Ibraz. “To do anything they want to do with me like they did with a lot of women in Afghanistan. They were targeting us.”

Maryam Yousifi, journalist and clothing designer remembers, “I saw that my mother's crying. And she's saying that we have to hide you somewhere. We can’t keep you here because people knows our address. She gave me a hijab and she said, please wear this. She never told me that never, ever. She never told me that what should I wear.”

The women were assisted by the nonprofit, Restore Her Voice, set up to help Afghan women, who had been in media or the arts, get out of Afghanistan and to help support them once they arrived in the United States.

Special thanks to Taban Ibraz, Anaitza Walizada, Maryam Yousifi, Helal Massomi, Elham Karimi, Marika Patridge, Lori Davis, Ed James and Ajmal Subat. Thanks also to The Daily Antidote Podcast and to writer/photographer Valerie Plesch for inspiring this story and sharing her photographs with The Kitchen Sisterhood.

Special thanks to writer and photographer Valerie Plesch for her article in the DCist that inspired this story. To see photographs and more about this story, plus an interview with Tanya Henderson, Founder and President of Mina’s List, a non-profit advancing women’s political leadership and global peace, are on our website, kitchensisters.org

Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, The Kaleta Doolin Foundation, The Texas Women's Foundation and listener contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions for the funding that makes these stories possible.

The Kitchen Sisters Present... is part of Radiotopia, an independent, story driven, carefully crafted podcast network from PRX.

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