Afghan YouTuber, 20, killed in airport bomb days after goodbye video
‘It’s very difficult for those who used to be free’: Tearful Afghan YouTuber, 20, who chronicled her vibrant life with friends in Kabul recorded goodbye video from her bedroom after Taliban take over: Days later she was killed in airport terror bomb
- Najma Sadequi was an aspiring journalist making videos about life in Kabul
- She shared a goodbye message last week to her viewers as Taliban took hold
- Days later, she was killed in the airport attack as she tried to flee the capital
An Afghan Youtuber who documented her daily life in Kabul with her friends shared a heartbreaking goodbye message just days before she was killed in the airport terror attack.
Najma Sadeqi, 20, enjoyed making videos of her cooking and listening to music while wearing bright clothes and exploring the streets of the Afghan capital.
But four days after the Taliban’s takeover, she uploaded a tearful video from her bedroom as she said farewell to her viewers.
An Afghan Youtuber who documented her daily life in Kabul with her friends shared a heartbreaking goodbye message just days before she was killed
Najma Sadeqi, 20, enjoyed making videos of her cooking and listening to music while wearing bright clothes and exploring the streets of the Afghan capital
She said: ‘Since we are not allowed to work and go out of our homes, we all had to record you a last video. And through this video say goodbye to you all.’
Sadeqi said she was too scared to walk down the streets under the Taliban’s rule and asked people to pray for her.
She continued: ‘Life in Kabul has become very difficult, especially for those who used to be free and happy.
‘I wish it is a bad dream, I wish we can wake up one day. But I know that it is not possible …. and it is a reality that we are finished.’
Sadeqi said she was too scared to walk down the streets under the Taliban’s rule and asked people to pray for her
Four days after the Taliban’s takeover, she uploaded a tearful video from her bedroom as she said farewell to her viewers
Just days later she was killed in an explosion outside Kabul’s international airport while trying to flee, along with around 170 Afghans, two of her colleagues told CNN.
Thursday’s blast killed Najma, as well as her brother and a cousin who had escorted her to the airport to ensure her safety.
Sadeqi was studying journalism in Kabul and was in her final year, having recently joined the Afghan Insider YouTube channel which boasts more than 24million views.
The videos gave an insight into the lives of young people living in Afghanistan to a global audience.
The YouTuber and her friends would cook together, explore the local markets and explain Afghan traditions and customs to their viewers.
She said in her final video: ‘I was working to make enough to pay for my daily expenses and for my education. Most of the families in the city are just waiting for (one) meal for the day to survive now.’
The YouTuber and her friends would cook together, explore the local markets and explain Afghan traditions and customs to their viewers
Sadeqi would normally record the videos with her friend Rohina Afshar but the pair were forced to separate for their final message out of fear of leaving their homes.
In the two decades since the US-led invasion drove the Taliban from power, women have made gains in education, politics and business – but it hasn’t been easy. Afghanistan remains a deeply conservative country, especially outside urban areas. Many of Najma’s own relatives objected to her career, with some even cutting off contact.
Freshta said her sister received threatening phone calls and text messages from unknown men who objected to her appearing in public.
‘I was the only one she told about her security concerns,’ Freshta said. ‘She didn’t want to share it with the family because they might prevent her from working with media.’
But as the Taliban rapidly advanced, capturing most of the country in a matter of days and rolling into the capital earlier this month, Najma decided to join the exodus, fearing that the takeover would spell the end of a career that was only just beginning.
Many vloggers in Afghanistan have now gone offline and have been left jobless without any income
She compiled the threatening text messages and brought them to the airport, hoping they would help her convince the Americans to put her on a plane.
Najma planned to restart her YouTube channel from her new home – wherever that might be – and document the lives of Afghan migrants, Freshta said. ‘She dreamed of building a career in media despite the challenges she faced.’
Najma and tens of thousands of others outside the airport gate have not been swayed by Taliban promises to allow women in public life and girls to attend schools.
Many vloggers in Afghanistan have now gone offline and have been left jobless without any income.
There are also added fears that they will be recognised because of their online profile and young women may be targeted by the Taliban.
One of Afghan Insider’s reporters was physically attacked during a report from Kabul airport.
Khawja Samiullah Sediqi, who worked at Afghan Insider, said ‘everything changed’ and content creators have stopped producing videos.
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