A generation of educated, elite young Afghans, which grew and shaped up during two decades of relative freedom, democracy, and exposure to the international community, is now being forced to flee the country amid widespread uncertainty as the Taliban have assumed control.
The so-called "brain drain" began earlier this month as the Taliban took over major provincial capitals before entering Kabul on Aug.15 and shutting down the entire government system and private sector.
Although the insurgents had promised a general amnesty, they have reportedly started going door to door to look for government employees, journalists, and those who worked or were in any way linked with foreigners in the past 20 years.
In some cases, the Taliban have allegedly killed, arrested, and beaten up such individuals, sending a wave of fear and uncertainty among the educated Afghan elite.
“A few days back, I was out for some work, and a Taliban fighter stopped me on the street and asked: Do not you fear God for wearing such clothes," rights activist Raha Sizda told EFE in Kabul.
"I started stepping back, he was coming closer, until he saw the tattoo on my hand and started to beat me with a metal wire. He threatened me that if I appear in public with such an outfit again, they will kill me,” she added, narrating how the fighter snatched the phone of a boy who was recording the assault against her.