Afghan YouTuber Killed in Airport Bombing Days After Saying Goodbye to Her Viewers: Report
"I wish it is a bad dream, I wish we can wake up one day. But I know that it is not possible," Najma Sadeqi told her viewers
Najma Sadeqi, a 20-year-old journalism student who made videos for the YouTube channel Afghan Insider, was killed in what officials have described as an ISIS-K suicide bombing outside of Kabul's airport Thursday, according to CNN.
Two of Sadeqi's colleagues confirmed her death.
She was among approximately 170 Afghans killed in the attack, which also killed 13 U.S. service members and injured at least 200 others, The New York Times reported.
The young journalist recorded her final video just four days before the fall of Kabul.
While previous videos had featured Sadeqi and her friends dressed in bright clothes and walking through the city streets, in the last clip she wore all black and was filming alone inside — reflecting how life in the country was changing as the Taliban advanced and the U.S.-led coalition withdrew at the end of the 20-year war.
"Since we are not allowed to work and go out of our homes, we all had to record you a last video," she began. "And through this video say goodbye to you all."
Sadeqi, who said she was fearful of even walking down the street, continued, "Life in Kabul has become very difficult, especially for those who used to be free and happy."
She added tearfully, "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."
Before her death, Sadeqi had reportedly been studying to become a journalist at an institute in Kabul and recently joined Afghan Insider, which helped fund her education and expenses for her family.
"Most of the families in the city are just waiting for one meal a day to survive now," she told her viewers. "I was working to make enough to pay for my daily expenses and for my education. Like me, there are other girls who were the breadwinners of their entire families … Now, they're at home waiting for the situation to get better."
Sadeqi was killed when she, her brother and cousin attempted to flee the country through the Kabul airport, where tens of thousands were evacuated in August. Rohina Afshar, who often collaborated on videos with Sadeqi, also confirmed her death to CNN.
"I was the only breadwinner in my family as my father is dead and my brother is not old enough to work," Afshar told the network. "With the salary I used to get from the YouTube channel I was paying for all our expenses. 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."
Afshar added that she was not only worried for her economic stability but for her safety.
"Besides economic hardships, I am very worried because a lot of people know my face as I used to work for media," she said. "I have been hearing rumors 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."
Khawja Samiullah Sediqi, another Afghan Insider reporter, told CNN he feared for the other "young and talented Afghan boys and girls" who create YouTube videos.
"In the last couple of weeks everything changed. We stopped producing new stuff, we are scared of being targeted, intimidated or harmed," he told CNN, adding, "We are too afraid to use our right of speaking freely and we are totally unsure about tomorrow."
If you would like to support those in need during the upheaval in Afghanistan, consider:
* Donating to UNICEF to aid Afghans in the country or
* Donating to the International Refugee Assistance Project to help those fleeing.