Somewhere in the outskirts of Herat city, Halima’s restaurant offers affordability and peace of mind for families and friends who enjoy dining together. The thought of opening a restaurant, particularly for women, came to Halima when she and her female friends were harassed by men in a restaurant in her neighborhood. Halima realized that her hometown was missing a comfortable and safe place for people to gather, especially for women. She had previously heard of Zardozi and went to them with her ideas and business plan. Zardozi agreed with her vision and approved a loan for 100,000 AFN, enabling Halima to pursue her dream.
Halima hails from Iran but moved to Afghanistan, looking for opportunities and a hope for creating a better life for herself and her family. She had heard of Zardozi through neighbors, and with her family’s support, she started her first business as a tailor. She later expanded into creating a production workshop where she trains twenty women under her own clothing brand name. Her successes were not only monetary, but rewarding, knowing that she had helped other women in a similar circumstance to hers. Zardozi recognizes her hard work and accomplishments, creating a partnership that has benefitted both parties. This partnership has lasted four years.
As Halima moves forward, she tells us that the restaurant, Dehkada-e Taam, is the biggest step in her life, being introduced to new management and leadership, different thoughts and views. She says, “Although, it is a challenging job, I am very happy becoming Zardozi’s first client, taking such a major step and innovation. Working with Zardozi has taught me to not fear what will come next, but to take risks and move on.”
Halima’s restaurant is the first place where male and female staff members work together. Duties include cooking, accounting, and wait staff positions. Halima says, “It gets hard when the customers number increase on certain days, so several family members come to help me in the restaurant, making sure to serve everyone on time. I am most grateful.”
At the end, Halima thanked Zardozi for enhancing her business and leadership skills as well as trusting her abilities to advance and move forward in her life. She expressed her happiness even more when she proudly said, “I am paying for my university to study Business Administration- a field that will help me become one of Afghanistan’s top businesswomen.”