“So now I’m good, not bad. But sometimes I really miss my family, especially my mom. And my mom was not like my mom. My mom was like my friend. My mom was my soulmate, and my mom was my secret. So I missed my friend a lot, and sometimes when we are talking to each other, she just told me, “Okay, go on and one day I want to see you in the high stage, and I want to hug you when you came with lots of achievements. Come back to Afghanistan.”

- Ogai Wardak

My name is Ogai Wardak. I was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan. I’m a 21-year-old social activist and journalist, who relocated to Dublin, Ireland after the fall of Afghan government. I am the youngest of five siblings. I graduated high school in 2016. That’s where I developed a passion for sports, particularly cricket. After years of disappointment over the lack of Afghan girls in sports, I decided to use my social platforms to convince girls to get involved in athletics. Naturally curious and extroverted, I started my journey as a television host at the age of 19. I’ve since hosted a wide range of TV shows. In 2019, I started producing and hosting an important show called Women’s Power, which covered stories of Afghan women and girls. One of the many things that kept me occupied was my work with various radio stations broadcasting women’s rights awareness in rural areas. I also took on the responsibility of being a kindergarten manager. I graduated from Kabul University in 2021, and I was lucky to graduate before the Taliban took over the country. On August 23, 2021, after the fall of the Afghan government, I left Afghanistan. To this day, I’m still seeking asylum in Dublin.

Warning: the following content may contain triggering and/or sensitive material depicting war & violence

- WhatsApp Voice Note (Ogai describes arriving at the airport)