A popular Afghan YouTuber posted a chilling goodbye video in which she begged to be remembered in people’s prayers – four days before being killed in the massive terrorist attack at Kabul airport.
As their country descended into chaos last week, Najma Sadeqi’s tens of thousands of subscribers were greeted with a much more downbeat message from the 20-year-old, who told them that "we are finished".
Her cheery disposition had disappeared, and rather than giving her followers a fun-filled look around Kabul with music playing in the background, it was a sombre acknowledgement of the reality she faced as the crackdown on civilians – and on women in particular – intensified.
"Since we are not allowed to work and go out of our homes, we all had to record you a last video," she said.
"And through this video say goodbye to you all."
Tearfully asking her viewers to pray for her, Sadeqi – who was in the final year of a journalism course in Kabul – told them during the eight-minute video filmed in her bedroom that she was too scared to leave home.
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"Life in Kabul has become very difficult, especially for those who used to be free and happy. I wish it is a bad dream, I wish we can wake up one day.
"But I know that it is not possible… and it is a reality that we are finished."
She was part of the Afghan Insider YouTube channel, which has had nearly 25 million views. The channel’s videos gave glimpses into the lives of young people who had grown up in the years following the Taliban’s original period of rule.
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But a few days after releasing her video, friends told CNN that Sadeqi was one of at least 170 Afghans killed when Isis terrorists launched an attack outside Kabul airport.
The victims had been trying to flee the country following the Taliban’s takeover of the city. More than a dozen US military personnel were also killed in the attack.
Sadeqi and her usual co-host, Rohina Afshar, were forced to record their last messages separately because they were scared of leaving home.
Afshar and the other young journalists who worked with Sadeqi are terrified that they’ll be rounded up by the Taliban, who will find it easy to recognise them because of their work.
She told CNN: "Now I am jobless. I am too scared to go out and we have got no income at all. I don’t know how can we survive this situation.
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"Besides economic hardships, I am very worried because a lot of people know my face as I used to work for media.
"I have been hearing rumours that certain groups identify girls who worked for media like me so that they can go after them. I don’t feel safe at all."
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