xi's moments
Home | Asia Pacific

Afghan woman cooks up defiance against militants with restaurant

China Daily | Updated: 2020-01-14 10:13

PUL-E-KHUMRI, Afghanistan - "It is the need of the hour to have a restaurant here in Pul-e-Khumri city to host women and their families in a restaurant established and managed by women," whispered 30-year-old proprietor Gaity Anwari.

Nearly 160 kilometers north of Kabul, beleaguered Pul-e-Khumri city is the capital of the restive Baghlan Province. Surrounding the city are pockets of Taliban and other extremist armed insurgents.

Nonetheless, the ambitious Anwari explained: "Sitting idle under the excuse of continued insecurity incidents and increasing militancy can serve no one." She dared to open her Banu Restaurant (Lady Restaurant) with limited resources a couple of years ago.

In the beginning, Anwari worked alone but now says: "During the difficulties, I have been able to provide job opportunities for nearly 30 people and serve food for more than 150 guests daily." Her staff includes five men.

Banu serves traditional Afghan dishes as well as Western-style pizza and burgers.

Pul-e-Khumi has witnessed several militant offensives over the past couple of years. After the most recent attack in September, many residents left town for safer places.

In the patriarchal Afghanistan where militancy is rampant, a woman running a restaurant is risky, Anwari acknowledged. However, she said: "Strong resolve makes an impossible mission possible." Afghan women have opened restaurants in Kabul and a few other large cities over the past few years

Recalling her initial experiences after opening the restaurant, Anwari said her neighbors didn't believe that a woman could own a restaurant in a society where many men don't allow their female relatives to go outside the home unless they are accompanied by a male member of the family.

"Running a restaurant that enables women to visit with their family breaks some the old-fashioned traditions and gradually promotes the culture of tolerance in society," the striving woman believes.

Banu's most frequent customers are married couples.

"I often visit Banu Restaurant along with my husband and children to have lunch and enjoy being together here at lunch time," said guest Maryam Masush.

Anwari said: "Everything is possible and you can overcome all the challenges if you have firm resolve to succeed in your life".


Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349