A woman who aided U.S. forces in Afghanistan and barely escaped with her life as the Taliban overtook the country in 2021 will be in a Fairfax County court Friday to ask not to be evicted from her apartment for being two months behind on her rent.
In her teens, Tahmina Nasser went to Camp Phoenix in 2004 to train with the newly created Afghan Security Forces. She worked as a translator.
A marriage, which later ended, took her away from that work, but in 2020, as U.S. troops began to withdraw, it became clear the Taliban had a long memory about who helped U.S. troops.
“We knew that there was going to be no survivor, and there was. There was no survivors,” Nasser said. “There was a guy – he was like very famous, he was one of the, maybe first or second translators back in that time – they cut him in pieces. They cut him in pieces first, and then they sewed his body like Pinocchio with shoelaces.”
An email from the office of Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) cleared the way for her to escape to the U.S. with her two children and her mother in August 2021.
“I’m just always thankful to them,” Nasser said. “If their email wouldn’t have come, I wouldn’t be here. I would have been, I don’t know. I don’t know where would I have been.”
Despite her experience and a degree from an Afghan university, Nasser has only found minimum wage work in the U.S. She often has to choose between rent, utilities and food, even working 80 hours a week.