Lexington woman, former American diplomat helping people flee Afghanistan


LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – Now that the war is over, a Lexington woman is helping people flee Afghanistan.

Deborah Alexander spent 10 years in the country working as an American diplomat. She felt a mix of emotions as she watched the last American plane leave Afghanistan.

“Relief but sadness,” Alexander said.

Although she’s happy the war is over, she’s worried about the many friends she left behind.

“Well, there’s a lot of fear right now because they don’t know what to expect,” Alexander said.

Alexander worked with children and women and sometimes encountered danger. She stood before members of the Taliban and was even the target of a bombing.

“I am very fortunate I have all of my arms and legs,” Alexander said.

With American troops gone, it’s not clear if the Taliban will live up to its promise of peace. Afghan women who grew accustomed to freedom have now returned to the burqa.

“We’ve already got some reports of beheadings of some families being killed,” Alexander said.

Alexander, now retired, is spending her days connecting with friends and colleagues trying to flee Afghanistan. She’s helping them secure visas to start a new life abroad.

“The advice that we’re giving them is to hunker down, stay in your homes, try not to be visible,” Alexander said.

She’s encouraging people, including Kentuckians, to welcome Afghan refugees with open arms. She smiles as she thinks of the people met and the children she played with.

“They love to smile, they like to laugh, they love to go to school,” Alexander said.

Alexander says a family from Afghanistan has arrived in Lexington. As many as 200 refugees are expected to arrive in Bowling Green at the International Center.

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