SportsNilofar Bayat: “The Taliban have started going house to house to identify...

Nilofar Bayat: “The Taliban have started going house to house to identify people; they will have no mercy “



Nilofar Bayat spent her first night in Spain after many hours of wakefulness, at the Kabul airport and on the very long flight with a stopover from Afghanistan to Torrejón, where she was temporarily housed along with the rest of the refugees from her country fleeing from the Taliban. . He attends EL PAÍS by phone, as soon as he recovers his mobile coverage. She speaks excellent English, is understanding, friendly and her tone of voice is joyous. He says he does not know where he will land, although everything indicates that it will be Bilbao, but that he will continue playing basketball. “Of course, it is part of my life.”

Question. After so many days of stress, how are you?

Answer. Now my husband and I are fine, still a bit out of place but happy to have been able to leave Afghanistan and to be in Spain.

P. How were your last days in Kabul?

R. Terrible. I had never been through anything like this in my life, I was very scared. There were thousands of us who wanted to get out of there, escape from the Taliban. Antonio [Pampliega] He managed to get us to get our papers to leave, but the airport was a mess, it was impossible to get in, we waited hours to get out, and it was very dangerous. It was the German soldiers who let us go inside the airport, but we couldn’t find anyone to tell us what to do. It seemed that we were flying in a German plane, but in the end they located us from the Spanish embassy. We had been extremely hot for hours, without food and drink. In the end, the second day we were able to fly.

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P. If they had stayed, would you have feared for your life?

R. He was already afraid for her. The Taliban have started going house to house to identify people. They will have no mercy.

P. What does the Taliban take over for an Afghan?

R. It is a catastrophe, it is terrible for everyone. Twenty years ago they had disappeared from power and in that time, the country had progressed a lot, women could lead a different life. I played basketball with total freedom, my husband also, I studied law … All that has gone to the trash. They are twenty years of blow backward movement.

P. Do you think that in the future you will be able to return to your country?

R. I can’t think about that now, I hope so, but right now we are in Spain, which is the best thing that could happen to us.

P. What role has the journalist Antonio Pampliega played in his departure from Kabul?

R. It has been fundamental. Antonio is a great person, I love him very much. You have saved my life and my husband’s. He has moved everything he can to get us out of there, and he is also trying with other people. I met him a few years ago in Kabul, and he is amazing. I really want to see him again.

P. Do you know anything about Spain?

R. The truth is that I know little, but just because they have welcomed me and my husband it seems to me a wonderful place. The people I have been with here, in Torrejón, have seemed very welcoming and friendly. They couldn’t have been better with us. I will always be grateful to this country.

P. Do you want to play wheelchair basketball again, or are you looking for other things now?

R. Of course I want to. Basketball is part of my life, and of course I want to play again.

P. Do you know that you have already had some proposals to play for Spanish teams?

R. Yes, I know and I am very grateful that they took an interest in me. When we got off the plane, the minister spoke to me [Félix Bolaños], and he told me that there was a team from Albacete who wanted me to come to live in their city, but he also knew that in Bilbao they had made me another proposal, which was the first one that came to me, for which I am very grateful. I don’t know what to say to so much interest.

P. Do you know Albacete or Bilbao?

R. No, but I would like to meet you as soon as I can. First I think we will be in Madrid and then we will see what to do.

P. Do you have any preferences?

R. No. I don’t know anything yet, just enough to say that this is a wonderful country and that we are very happy to be in it. What has to happen will happen.

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