26 min

9. The power couple A Wish for Afghanistan

    • News

An eyewitness account from the presidential palace as the Taliban encircle Kabul.

He was the president’s chief of staff, she was the ambassador in Washington. Both were appointed by President Ghani: Matin Bek, the son of a warlord, and Adela Raz, the daughter of an intellectual. They were Afghanistan’s ultimate power couple. Matin was in the presidential palace the day the capital fell to the Taliban. He describes the moment he realised, uncomprehending, that the president had fled. The palace, he says, was “the safest place in Afghanistan” that day. Adela, in Washington, had just woken up when she realised that something was terribly wrong. “Get out now,” she told her husband. Matin’s assessment looking back on the past few years: “The government failed and I was part of it.”

An eyewitness account from the presidential palace as the Taliban encircle Kabul.

He was the president’s chief of staff, she was the ambassador in Washington. Both were appointed by President Ghani: Matin Bek, the son of a warlord, and Adela Raz, the daughter of an intellectual. They were Afghanistan’s ultimate power couple. Matin was in the presidential palace the day the capital fell to the Taliban. He describes the moment he realised, uncomprehending, that the president had fled. The palace, he says, was “the safest place in Afghanistan” that day. Adela, in Washington, had just woken up when she realised that something was terribly wrong. “Get out now,” she told her husband. Matin’s assessment looking back on the past few years: “The government failed and I was part of it.”

26 min

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