HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — “Mona” feels heartbroken looking at images of her homeland — Afghanistan — as the United States leaves and the Taliban arrives.

“Very devastating,” she told News 8. “Not knowing what’s happening. Not knowing what’s going to happen to other families.”

That includes her family. She has loved ones still there. “Mona” escaped from Afghanistan during war and conflict nearly 30 years ago. She now lives in Connecticut but she says her heart is still a world away. She spoke with loved ones in Afghanistan just yesterday.

“They are not feeling safe,” she said.

She also says they didn’t expect the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan would happen as swiftly as it did.

“It’s devastating to see how people are desperate,” she said. “And our people didn’t know this was going to happen so fast — no one was ready for this, actually, to do some food shopping and other things. It happened so quick.”

Now, she’s especially concerned about women and children who could not flee the country.

“If the Taliban is not respecting women and girls’ rights to go to school or to work, this is going to make their presence in Afghanistan very, very hard for them,” she said.

She says she hopes to start a non-profit here in Connecticut to help Afghan women and families in the future.

“I’m wishing the best for women and girls to have their freedoms and peace,” she said. “Our hearts just go [out] for them. We are here, but our minds and hearts are there for them.”

She has a message for President Biden.

“There should be a policy — especially for women and children — if they are not safe, they shouldn’t be there.”

She also wants the President to form a committee between American and Afghan women to engage in dialogue and she wants to deliver a special message to U.S. troops and their families who’ve sacrificed so much for a better Afghanistan.

“I want to thank them for the support of the military all these years and I thank their parents that allowed their sons and daughters to go there for our people,” she said.