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Meena Rahimi on fleeing Afghanistan and the Taliban rule

Meena Rahimi on fleeing Afghanistan and the Taliban rule Meena Rahimi on fleeing Afghanistan and the Taliban rule
Jayde Maher

On Friday afternoon, MaryAnn met with Meena Rahimi, a refugee from Afghanistan, to discuss her experience in getting here and her life so far.

Meena, her husband, and two kids had to flee Afghanistan when the Taliban took over in August 2021.

When they took control, Meena and her family deleted all social media so that they couldn't be traced. They moved house every month and stayed away from extended family to avoid them all being killed.

The Taliban instantly banned all girls and women from any type of education. They were put under house arrest and were not allowed to leave without a man.


Meena said nobody believed the Taliban would be in power but described the day they arrived as scary.

Every day they did house checks and killed anyone that they recognised from the media, which is now censored by the Taliban.

Meena in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, Meena was the Executive Director at an orphanage, as well as a qualified lawyer, and a social activist with a passion for educating girls, making her a target for the Taliban.

It was dangerous for people like Meena who were activists, but Meena said she just wanted to create a better society for new generations.


Because of security issues, she left her hometown and joined Concern Worldwide. She created and supported four literacy classes for women who had no education.

Fleeing the country

Meena had been a refugee when she was a child, because of conflict in Afghanistan then too.

She fleed to Iran and Pakistan at that time. She wanted a better future for her children because she grew up in conflict.

They were crying whenever their father left the house and were stressed every day.

It was hard for Meena to leave her friends and family but she felt she needed to take the opportunity for her children. Her daughter was only 7 and had already missed a year of school.

Meena and her family's visas were expired and there was no way out of the country, making it difficult to leave. The borders were closed and there were no flights.

After three months, airports re-opened and Meena and her family flew to Pakistan. They stayed there for a week before flying to Ireland.

Her life now

Meena and her family have lived in the Clonea Strand Hotel for the last 10 months. They have enjoyed this and found the staff very friendly and helpful.

They recently found a house that they will be moving into shortly.

She is happy here. Her children aren't stressed and they are both in school.

She still worries about the people she left behind, but she wants a good future for her children and hopes to start a better life.

To listen to the full conversation, click the link in this podcast.

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