It was a feeling of particular piquancy, given the failure of Afghan forces to prevent their country’s collapse in the end, and given the thousands of Afghans who have struggled to keep their promises to move to the United States after aiding coalition forces over the years.
Gone are the Afghan musicians who used to host so many dinners at the embassy, not because of budget constraints, but because of her emotional reserves.
“I can’t do this,” she said, recalling a fundraising event shortly after the fall of the Afghan government in August, during which a traditional orchestra played the national anthem. “It was too emotional,” said Ms. Raz. “I cried so loudly that I had to go up to the office to calm down.”
Ms. Raz was 16 years old when US forces invaded Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks. Their arrival heralded a new future for her and other Afghan women and girls, and she quickly entered high school. She later attended Simmons College (now Simmons University) and the Fletcher School at Tufts University in the United States on a scholarship.
In 2013, she returned to Afghanistan to work in leadership positions in the government. In 2018, she became Afghanistan’s first female ambassador to the United Nations, and in July she was appointed ambassador to the United States and moved here with her two daughters, 4 and 2 years old. “I was just calming down,” she said. “Then the roller coaster started with everything.”
The collapse of Afghanistan began on August 6, when the capital of the western province was captured by the Taliban. By August 15, the militants of the group captured Kabul, as the Americans began a chaotic and sometimes fatal evacuation of tens of thousands of people.
Ms. Raz, during her short official tenure, demanded more decisive intervention from the Biden administration and assistance to abandoned women. Her future is unclear – will she somehow remain ambassador or, more likely, find a way to change immigration status to work here?