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University of Arizona professor worries for colleagues stranded in Afghanistan

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 9:53 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - “I don’t want them to hear this but I don’t think it looks good,” said Maggy Zanger, a University of Arizona professor.

Zanger spent years working and living in the Middle East and knows people stranded in Afghanistan right now.

“We have a number of colleagues we’re trying to help get out - the people we became closest to,” said Zanger.

She says many of them are educated and started organizations funded by the US government.

Though now they’re living in fear of what the Taliban may do to them and their families.

“One colleague started a women’s media organization. He’s definitely got a target on his back,” said Zanger. “The Taliban have already been banging on his office door and on his home. He’s been in hiding.”

But, she worries even more about her female colleagues.

“We’re working with a woman who is the head of a journalism department in Kabul,” said Zanger. “We’re really trying to get her out because she has a degree. She is such a target.”

While that woman may be in Kabul, others are spread out all over the country, far from the airport where evacuation flights are taking off.

“All we can hope is that things settle down and that then there becomes a process for getting them out. But the Taliban isn’t being cooperative so I don’t have a lot of hope,” said Zanger. “I just wish they were all here and not where they are. We all owe them the opportunity to not die.”

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