Kim Kardashian West Helps Fly Out Afghanistan Female Soccer Team

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Charis Latunde, Student Writer

Afghanistan’s women’s youth development soccer team arrived in Britain early Thursday after they were flown out from Pakistan with the assistance of a New York rabbi, a U.K. soccer club, and Kim Kardashian West.

A plane was chartered by the reality tv-star, and which carried more than 30 teenage players and their families, which was about 130 people in total. The plane landed at Stansted Airport near London. The Afghans will follow a 10-day coronavirus quarantine hold before starting their new lives in Britain. Women playing sports is seen as an act of defiance against the Taliban, and hundreds of female athletes have fled Afghanistan since the group made their return to power and began controlling women’s education and freedoms once more.

The former captain of Afghanistan’s national women’s team, Khalida Popal has spearheaded the evacuation of female athletes and expressed that she is “so happy and so relieved” that the girls and women were out of danger. Popal told the Associated Press that “Many of those families left their houses when the Taliban took over. Their houses were burnt down,” “Some of their family members were killed or taken by Taliban. So, the danger and the stress were very high, and that’s why it was very important to move fast to get them outside Afghanistan.”

The team received help from the Tzedek Association, which is a nonprofit U.S. group that has helped the last known member of Kabul’s Jewish community leave Afghanistan in the past. The founder of the group, Rabbi Moshe Margaretten, has worked with TV star Kardashian West on other criminal justice reform in the U.S. He reached out to Kim to help pay for a chartered plane to the U.K.

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