Kim Kardashian Helped 130 Afghan Refugees Flee The Country Amid Taliban Takeover!


There are a lot of very grateful families today thanks to Kim Kardashian.

Members of Afghanistan’s women’s youth development soccer team and their families — around 130 people in total — arrived in Britain early Thursday morning with the help of a New York rabbi, soccer club Leeds United, and the Keeping Up With The Kardashians alum.

According to ESPN, a plane chartered solely by the reality TV star and her company SKIMS arrived from Pakistan at Stansted Airport near London. The 30 players and their family members will now spend 10 days in mandatory quarantine before officially starting their new lives in the country.

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Britain, as well as many other countries, helped evacuate thousands of Afghans in a rushed airlift as Kabul fell to Taliban militants in August. Female athletes were among the top priority to leave the country because women playing sports is seen as a political act of defiance against the Taliban, which has already restricted women’s access to education and freedom since their return to power. Similarly, Australia evacuated the members of the country’s national women’s football team, who were resettled in Portugal.

Members of the soccer team, many from poor families in the country’s provinces, were able to fly to Pakistan and eventually receive UK visas, but they could not arrange for a flight out of the country. As the time on their Pakistani visas ran out, the team sought help from the Tzedek Association, a US nonprofit that previously helped members of Kabul’s Jewish community leave Afghanistan. The organization’s founder, Rabbi Moshe Margaretten, had worked with Kim on criminal justice reform and decided to seek her help. She didn’t hesitate a beat, Margaretten told The Associated Press:

“Maybe an hour later, after the Zoom call, I got a text message that Kim wants to fund the entire flight.”

Khalida Popal, a former captain of Afghanistan’s national women’s team who led the evacuation efforts, also told the outlet she feels “so happy and so relieved” now that the girls are safe from danger, adding:

“Many of those families left their houses when the Taliban took over. Their houses were burnt down. Some of their family members were killed or taken by Taliban. So the danger and the stress was very high, and that’s why it was very important to move fast to get them outside Afghanistan.”

On Wednesday, Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani praised all those involved to make this flight possible, writing on Twitter:

“First chapter written today! When I received a call asking help to rescue the youth [women’s] team from Afghanistan, I didn’t know even from where to start. Today they flew to UK. Proud to be part of the team to make this real. Let’s dream one day they will play in [Leeds United FC].”

Truly such a dream come true for so many people.

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As news of her activism work made headlines, Kim took to her Instagram Story to express:

“@skims and I are so grateful to be able to help bring these amazing, courageous women and their families to their new home.”

Along with a video of the arrivals entering their new country, she continued:

“It’s such a privilege to be a part of this life-saving mission to save the Afghan Female Youth National Team! All girls have the right to be whatever they want to be. They are courageous and it’s tragic they had to flee their country because they wish to play a sport they love.

I want to thank Tzedek Association for their incredible work to help save these girls and so many other at risk of being killed and persecuted in Afghanistan. It’s an honor to partner and unite with them in helping to bring this flight to fruition. Thank you for this opportunity!

A big shout out to @khalida_popal_girlpower for leading this effort to save these girls, and to everyone else involved in this incredible mission!

But the work continues. There are still female sports players in Afghanistan whose lives are at risk. The Taliban beheaded an Afghan volleyball player, Mahjabin Hakimi, who was in her early twenties and at her prime. The Taliban are hunting for players as well as many others.

They are hunting for female journalists, female judges and activists. There are orphanages that are horribly selling their orphans for money. The biggest issue is that these people do not have countries that are welcoming them as refugees.”

Kanye West’s ex ended her message with a call to action for followers, concluding:

“We need more countries to open their arms to these people who are living in fear every single day, like the UK graciously did for the 130 girls and their families today.

I am especially worried that Afghanistan is becoming yesterday’s news. We must keep awareness alive of all the high-risk individuals, particularly women and girls, at risk of being killed by the Taliban and Islamic State. Let’s keep their stories alive and do what we can to help!”

What a truly incredible story! So powerful, and Kim’s words could not be more true. We hope all those still in danger are able to get the help they need to seek safety.

[Image via WENN/Avalon]





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