Mahbooba Robbie rarely sleeps these days, worried about “thousands of children” to take care of his charitable Mahbooba promise in Afghanistan.
On a phone call from Sydney on Wednesday morning, he reached out to staff members of one of the four orphanages run by his organization in Afghanistan. The employee told his men that the Taliban were now in control.
“I am afraid for the lives of my children. I am the mother of a thousand children. I am worried about their safety and security and I am worried about what could happen to my work in the future,” Raui said after the call.
Rawi, now 52, arrived in Australia in 1984 as an 18-year-old, after invading Russia from Afghanistan in the 1980s. In 1992, he lost a 6-year-old boy in a drowning accident and vowed to sacrifice himself to save the children.
It was the result of Mahbooba’s promise. In addition to the four orphanages, his group runs a medical clinic and five schools for children and widows in Afghanistan.
The Taliban’s rapid victory in Afghanistan has raised questions about the future of his job after US President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw US troops after a 20-year war.
Many Afghans fear the Taliban will return to the hard practices of the past. During their 1996-2001 rule, women could not work and punishments such as stoning, flogging and hanging were common.
“I work very, very hard and I want to continue my work until my death, and hopefully they (the Taliban) will respect it,” Ravi said.
While the Taliban sees a moderate face, promises no retaliation against the opposition and shows respect for the rights of women, minorities and foreigners, many Afghans are skeptical and still fear clashes between old enemies and activists.
The situation is “not normal”, his staff at the orphanage told Ravi. Speaking in English in a WhatsApp call, he said, “All the shops, supermarkets … are closed now and people are very worried and don’t trust the Taliban.”
As the fighting worsens and the Taliban advance, Rawi has to move from one orphanage to another to keep the children safe.
“I want the Taliban to do what I did and what our prophet told us to do – to take care of widows and orphans,” he said.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was created automatically from a syndicated feed.)