With No Resources, Authority or Country, Afghan Ambassador Presses On

Thoughts like this were poignant in light of Afghanistan’s eventual demise and the thousands of Afghans who have been unable to get their pledges of passage to the United States fulfilled after aiding coalition forces.

A lack of financial resources was more of a factor than a depletion of her emotional reserves in removing the Afghan musicians who had previously provided entertainment at embassy banquets.

This is something I can’t even imagine doing,” she said, recalling a fund-raising event held in August in which a traditional Afghan band sang the national song in front of a large crowd. Ms. Raz opined that it was “far too emotional.” “I had to go up to my office to cool down since I was crying so loudly.”

When the United States invaded Afghanistan following the September 11 attacks, Ms. Raz was just 16 years old. She and other Afghan women and girls had a brighter future ahead of them when they arrived, and she immediately enrolled in high school. On the strength of a scholarship, she went on to attend Simmons College (now known as Simmons University) and the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

When she returned to Afghanistan in 2013, she was appointed to a number of high-level government positions. Earlier this year, she was chosen Afghanistan’s first female ambassador to the United Nations and arrived in the United States in July with her two young daughters, aged four and two. “The roller coaster started with everything,” she added. “I was just settling myself.”

On Aug. 6, the Taliban seized control of a province capital in western Afghanistan, signalling the beginning of the end of the country. After a bloody and chaotic departure of tens of thousands of citizens, the group’s forces took control of Kabul on August 15.

During her brief time in office, Ms. Raz pushed the Biden administration to do more to assist women who had been left behind. Her future is uncertain — will she be able to remain ambassador, or will she be able to change her visa status so that she may work in the United States?