Nila Ibrahimi is a 15-year-old Hazara activist who narrowly escaped the Taliban following their return in August 2021 through the initiative of the 30Birds Foundation.
In March 2021, when the Kabul Directorate of Education issued a discriminatory order banning school girls over the age of 12 from singing in public, Ibrahimi courageously posted a video message through song encouraging girls to stand up for their education and their rights. The video gained outpouring support on social media. Despite her young age, Ibrahimi galvanized others to protest, a phenomenon that resulted in a reversal of the Directorate’s ban.
Upon the overthrow of Kabul in August 2021, Ibrahimi’s online notoriety as an activist and her status as a member of the Hazara ethnic community rendered her a target of the Taliban. As a result, she and her family undertook an arduous journey to flee their homeland, a decision that brought immense danger.
With land travel as their sole option, Ibrahimi and her family travelled alongside other members of the Hazara community to Pakistan through the help of the 30Birds Foundation, an organization that instrumentalized the escape of over 450 Afghans to safety from Kabul. Their journey required repeated confrontations with the Taliban at checkpoints, dodging detection by the smallest margin. After reaching their safe house in Pakistan and hiding for a year, Ibrahimi and her family eventually settled in Saskatoon, Canada.
In Canada, Ibrahimi uses her freedom as an opportunity to continually platform the oppression of Afghan girls and Hazaras left behind under Taliban rule. She raises her voice to injustice through song, advocating for women’s rights, peace, and humanity as a member of the Sound of Afghanistan Music Band.