Sometimes a simple message can change the course of someone’s life, even save lives – in this case five. ” Can I help you in any way? ” Asked Laia Marsal , an expert in communication and marketing in the cultural and entertainment sector, on Twitter to the Afghan activist Nilofar Ayoubi, who was trying to escape from the Taliban at all costs. “Yes, help me fill out and send documents to get out of here, ” he replied.
Laia Marsal met Nilofar Ayoubi through a tweet from the Afghan activist in which she explained that she was being persecuted, and that she did not know what else to do to survive: “Right now I have feelings of anger, fear, frustration and disappointment, all at the same time “. So, Marsal set himself a goal: to help her however it was . Thus, he began to speak with her on a daily basis to find out how he could get her to flee the country , since he was not safe there because he was on the list of wanted by the Taliban.
the Afghan woman explained to Laia Marsal that she did not have much internet connection, as the Taliban sometimes cut it off so that they could not communicate. So, he asked her for help filling out forms and papers so that he could flee to whatever country he could as soon as possible.
“She sent me all her documents, passports and I was in charge of sending them to the ministries of the different governments,” explains the Catalan to EL PERIÓDICO. “I have come to fill in information about her and, while she answered, she explained to me that they were shooting .”
Also, Marsal acknowledges that she has made multiple forms to help her leave the country: from Poland to Australia. “And they are not exactly short: the one in Australia is 68 pages long. I even asked my daughter for help, who knows more English than I do.”
“It is a very long process”, highlights the Catalan, since the anti-terrorism control has to be passed and she has to prove her status. Therefore, you have to make different requests and show that the refugees can work .
“It is a chaos of misinformation, ” says Laia Marsal, while acknowledging that at first he did not know where to start to help her. But, over time, she managed to contact lawyers – who knew a lot about the subject – who were able to help her, and with international journalists who were also contributing.
And, there are also accounts and groups on Twitter that are trying to help out. ” I didn’t know that it was so difficult to leave a country in a state of war, ” Marsal emphasizes, “she [Nilofar Ayoubi] just wants to be an independent woman again .”
But, in any case, the Catalan emphasizes that “if you don’t have a mobile there, you’re sold” because “it’s not easy to get out.” ” Nobody accompanies you to the door to leave, it is the Taliban who decide who is and who is not .”
After many formalities and calls, they accepted Nilofar Ayoubi on the list of Poland . Trying his luck with the change of name on the admission list – because a code name is adopted when entering – Marsal thought he had managed to help her out, but when the time came, after spending eight hours in the sun, the Taliban denied the Afghan family leaving, as they recognized Ayoubi.
“At that moment Nilofar disappeared , I called the United States and Germany to help me find her, and after a while they located her: she had not been able to leave the country and was at home .”
They tried a second time, but without success. But last Sunday, in a third attempt, the Afghan activist – along with her family – managed to get on a plane to go to Poland and, after quarantining, they will give them refugee status .
On Monday, the Afghan family confirmed that he was in a field in Poland. But the Catalan is waiting to be transferred to another town as soon as possible , since “religion is very different there, and there is a lot of racism,” explains Marsal.