Reality star Kim Kardashian did more for the displaced women of Afghanistan than the United States government, when she paid to fly a women’s youth soccer development team to the safety of the United Kingdom.
Kardashian and her company SKIMS paid for 130 people, 30 members of the team and their families, to fly out of Pakistan on a charter flight to London.
Rabbi Moshe Margaretten, founder of nonprofit the Tzedek Association, asked her if she would assist the team when they got trapped in Pakistan after fleeing from Kabul when the United States exited Afghanistan.
Margaretten said he spoke to Kardashian over a video call and “Maybe an hour later, after the Zoom call, I got a text message that Kim wants to fund the entire flight.”
Female athletes have been fleeing the country in droves, since women that participate in sports are viewed as politically defiant of the Taliban, who have begun a campaign to repress their freedoms since the regime’s takeover of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, on August 15th.
Members of the country’s national soccer team and youth girls’ team were resettled in Portugal by Australia, but the girls Kardashian helped were part of a development team that typically hailed from poorer families.
While the players did manage to escape from Pakistan and secure visas to the United Kingdom, they were in danger of missing their opportunity to emigrate when they were unable to get a flight out of the country and time was running out on their entry paperwork.
The former captain of the country’s women’s national team, Khalida Popal, has been helping other athletes get out of Afghanistan. She is “happy and relieved” that the team is safe.
“Many of those families left their houses when the Taliban took over. Their houses were burnt down,” Popal said. “Some of their family members were killed or taken by the Taliban. So the danger and the stress was very high, and that’s why it was very important to move fast to get them outside Afghanistan.”