On Wednesday, August 24th, attackers launched a deadly assault on the campus of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF). As the story unfolded, Afghan journalists worked to piece everything together, and some used Twitter to disseminate information. Journalists weren’t the only ones wielding the power of social media that day. Some people who had friends and relatives trapped on the AUAF campus also used it to try to make contact with them, and pass along any updates they might have received. Razia Danesh was on Twitter, waiting to receive word about her sister, Maryam. Speaking with Queens Free Press via Twitter direct message, Danesh says she was shocked when she found out that Maryam was among those who were trapped on the campus when the attack started.
“I didn’t want to think about any bad thing,” she says, “But I was thinking about [her] being injured, being killed, or any other bad things.”
In the midst of it all, Maryam did find an opportunity to send a brief text.
“I am fine,” read the text message.
Danesh says she tried calling her sister after that, but she didn’t pick up the phone. She then turned to Twitter, in search of any updates.
“I read some tweets that said they [the attackers] came into uni,” Danesh says, “I was shocked because I didn’t know where is my sis (sic).”
Ten minutes later, Maryam finally picked up the phone. She told Danesh that she had managed to escape to the university dormitory with several of the other girls. Several university security guards had managed to bring the girls to a safe room there. When they decided that it was finally safe for them to leave, Danesh says her sister accompanied one of the other girls, who was wounded, to the hospital. “We picked her [up] at hospital,” says Danesh.
On Wednesday, August 24th, attackers stormed the campus of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF). Yesterday, we ran the story of Razia Danesh—a young woman who was waiting to hear news about her sister who was trying to escape from the campus after the attackers struck. Today we have the story of Abdullah Mohammadi—a student who was on campus at the time, and was fortunate enough to escape thanks to the help of a friend.
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