‘You have to start your life from scratch.’: Life in the UK two years after the fall of Kabul

‘My path took me from the world of journalism in Afghanistan to the shores of the UK, where I embarked on a pursuit of personal growth and a commitment to helping others.’

Saghar Khalid’s dream of becoming a TV producer shattered when the Taliban regained power in Kabul two years ago. In a single devastating day, everything fell apart and she had no choice but to leave her home and family behind, in search of safety and to freely pursue her dreams.

Now, having found refuge in the UK for the past two years, she contemplates her journey of navigating new horizons, pursuing her personal growth, taking part in her community, and embracing the future.

Saghar was forced to flee her home after the Taliban regained control of Kabul

I graduated from journalism in Afghanistan, and I studied in my own language, my career was about to start, I was an intern in a network, and I wanted to become a TV producer. But everything was destroyed in one day.  

Two years ago, the Taliban surrounded the capital city of Kabul and regained control. It was a moment of disbelief for us. On that day we lost our country and everything else, everything was destroyed that day, you feel like you no longer have a homeland. It is a tragedy that I can’t express in words.   

At that time I was thinking they might come into our house at any moment and kill all of us, it was a horrible day. My father is always a positive and strong man, he loves his country and always had hope about the state of the country. In one day, everything had changed, that was no longer my city, the city where it always felt like hope despite all the challenges but not on that day, it was all gone on that day.   

I am a woman from a country where being a woman is a sin, if you live there as a woman, you are punished. you can’t go to school, university or work. Life in Afghanistan has become difficult for everyone, especially for women. Every day they pass a new law, limiting women’s activity, making their lives harder. I wept for all Afghan girls and women who will be punished for being a woman. I wept for the hope that no longer existed. I had to leave the country to survive and to live.  

The hardest part was that my heart was burning with pain, I didn’t want to leave my family, but I had to go. No one leaves their country if they didn’t have to, it’s not easy to leave everything behind, your home, family, friends, your career. And now… you have to start your life from scratch.  

Saghar is making the most of her new life in the UK

In 2021, I embarked on a new chapter of my life, leaving behind my familiar surroundings to embrace the challenges and possibilities of a foreign land. Though the transition came with its share of hurdles, my determination to adapt and overcome language barriers and cultural differences drove me forward.  I wasted no time in enrolling in various courses to expand my knowledge and skills. My commitment to personal development led me to complete courses in English, Mathematics, and Photography, providing a solid foundation for my future endeavours.  

My deep passion for supporting others led me to join the British Red Cross as a Refugee Support Volunteer. In this role, I became a guiding presence for refugees who recently arrived in the UK, offering language assistance and emotional support to those navigating the challenges of adapting to a new environment. 

I am also involved with the Whispered Tales organization where I use my voice to shed light on overlooked stories. As a consultant and immigrant woman myself, I shared my journey’s struggles and triumphs to empower others.  

My journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of education, unwavering determination, and the deep desire to make a positive impact in my community. My path took me from the world of journalism in Afghanistan to the shores of the UK, where I embarked on a pursuit of personal growth and a commitment to helping others.  

Looking to the future

My thirst for personal growth and exploration led me to explore my creative side and pursue my longstanding passion for fashion design. I enrolled in a fashion design program at a local college and embraced the opportunity to express myself artistically and create pieces that reflect my unique perspective and experiences. 

Saghar is excited to begin her Fashion Design course

My future holds exciting possibilities. I have been accepted into a fashion design diploma program scheduled for September. As I continue to enhance my language skills through ongoing English courses, my commitment to personal growth, community involvement, and fostering inclusivity remains unwavering. 

My life’s journey exemplifies resilience, determination, and a passion for making a positive impact. From my modest beginnings in Afghanistan to my current pursuit of a fashion design career in the UK, my story embodies the spirit of embracing change, championing diversity, and empowering others through empathy and compassion. As I look ahead to the next chapter of my life, I’m excited to contribute to the world, showcasing the power of determination and the beauty of embracing one’s unique identity. 

Instead of judging immigrants, I would like people to consider the reasons behind their migration. Let’s reflect on the difficult circumstances that lead someone to leave their homeland, leave their families, their friends, their career, and their education, and start from scratch all over again. 

Saghar’s creative writing reflects on her past and hopes:


This always means forced to me, because I believe no one leaves their country, city family,friends,career,their all life for fun,

They have to leave to survive,

We had to leave because it was no longer a place for us to live, but we wanted to live…

It is not wrong,

It is not bad,

We are not wrong if we went through everything to be safe.

I am not supposed to feel ashamed for being an immigrant,

I chose life instead of death, and I chose freedom instead of prison…

Since the day I came here non-stop every day,

every day I try to improve my self, I study, I work…. and I am happy

Author IMIX

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