A couple days before the Taliban took over Kabul, Sara Rahmani was sketching in her free time, sitting at her home in California, thousands of miles away from where her heart lies: Afghanistan.
“I just started this painting of (a) beautiful girl as usual, because I love to show the beautiful sides of my people. My culture and our beautiful kids over there,” she said. “I started sketching and just painting, and colored the eyes. After a couple days … they took over Kabul and I had such pain in my heart.” Rahmani and her family came to America four years ago on Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). Her father was working for an American company. Now Rahmani is going to civil engineering school in the US, and enjoys art as a hobby.
Prior to moving, Rahmani had also been taking civil engineering classes in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, where she lived most of her life.”I’m really sorry for my college, and the girls that were working with me over there,” she said. “They’re really frustrated and really in a bad situation. They don’t know what’s going to happen to their future.” Rahmani said many of the young women she went to college with were working in offices but are now unemployed and struggling. They have told her they cannot wear what they want and need to be escorted by a man when leaving their homes. As Rahmani glanced at her painting, her voice was full of emotion.