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A year in exile: Afghan refugees tell of fresh starts

by Emma Batha and Bahaar Joya | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Thursday, 11 August 2022 08:00 GMT

A year after the Taliban takeover, Afghan refugees describe new lives in Britain, Pakistan, Canada and New Zealand - and look at what lies ahead

By Emma Batha and Bahaar Joya

LONDON, Aug 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After the Taliban seized Kabul on Aug. 15, 2021, hundreds of thousands of Afghans fled their homeland in fear of reprisals by the hardline Islamist group; some were evacuated by foreign powers such as the United States and Britain while others left by whatever means they could.

On foot and on flights, many left behind comfortable lives with no guarantee they would ever be able to return to a safe and stable Afghanistan in future.

So where did the Afghan refugees go? And what does life look like for them now?

Ahead of the first anniversary of the Taliban's takeover, four Afghans - including a Pulitzer award-winning photojournalist and a judo champion - told the Thomson Reuters Foundation how their lives had been turned upside down and what the future holds.

In this series:

Afghan Pulitzer-winner buried award before escaping Taliban

'Crying with happiness': Afghan campaigner finds freedom in Canada

Afghan judo champion fights for survival in Pakistan

Blind Afghan activist who fled Taliban embraces London life

(Reporting by Emma Batha @emmabatha and Bahaar Joya in London and Imran Mukhtar in Islamabad. Editing by Helen Popper. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.