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Afghan Pop Star Aryana Sayeed Flees Country Amid Taliban Take Over

Afghan female singer Aryana Sayeed performs during a “Peace Concert” in Babur Garden in Kabul on October 19, 2013. (MASSOUD HOSSAINI/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

Afghanistan’s biggest female pop star Aryana Sayeed has escaped the country as fears grow for women after the Taliban’s vow to impose strict Sharia law.


Sayeed is a singer and judge on the Afghan version of The Voice. She was one of those fortunate to escape the country on a US cargo jet on Wednesday.

“I am well and alive and after a couple of unforgettable nights, I have reached Doha, Qatar and am awaiting my eventual flight back home to Istanbul,” the 36-year-old told her 1.3 million Instagram followers.

Aryana Sayeed told her 1.3 million Instagram followers that she is in a “state of disbelief and shock” | Image: Instagram/aryanasayeedofficial

Sayeed later posted an update showing that she had flown onward to Turkey.

She said: “After I get home and my mind and emotions return back to normal from a world of disbelief and shock, I have many stories to share with you.”

Sayeed has been a prominent supporter of the Afghan Army and spoke out many times in support of them before the Taliban took the country. She is married to Hasib Sayed, who is also her producer.

There are also fears for a captured female governor Salima Mazari, formerly one of Afghanistan’s most prominent female politicians, whose supporters say she could be executed.

And the Taliban now says that religious scholars will decide whether girls can go to school and women can work, after the new regime earlier said the would respect women’s rights ‘within the framework of Islamic law.

Taliban spokesman Waheedullah Hashimi told Reuters on Wednesday: “Our scholars will decide whether girls are allowed to go to school or not.”

He also ruled out any chance that the current democratic system of government would remain, saying that it was not compatible with Islamic law.

“There will be no democratic system at all because it does not have any base in our country,” Hashimi said.

“We will not discuss what type of political system should we apply in Afghanistan because it is clear. It is sharia law and that is it.”

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