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The First Afghan Female Entrepreneur

in Afghan Business

The First Afghan Female Entrepreneur

In an Afghan capital scarred by years of war, a young Afghan woman has bet $1 million that her countrymen could use a little fun.

Meena Rahmani, who has spent most of her life in Pakistan and Canada, returned to Afghanistan in 2009. She is the owner of Strikers Bowling Alley which serves as a great entertainment place for the youths of Kabul. When she first came to Kabul, she was saddened to see the deserted streets of Kabul after 7pm and the absence of any sort of leisure for the youths.

When Ms. Rahmani came up with the idea of opening the bowling alley, her idea was not supported much. But, she could see it succeeding, as new buildings were being built and new roads were being paved. She saw it worth the time and money to invest in her motherland.

The alley is mostly sourced from China, from the lanes to the shoes to the kitchen appliances. The alley’s restaurant offers pizzas, seafood, fruit juices, smoothies etc. At first customers wanted only Afghan food, but Ms. Rahmani wanted to bring in a change to the culture of Afghanistan to help the people taste different things—“not necessarily western, just a global standard of cuisine.”

The alley is an expensive business to run mainly due to the high cost of the generators fuel. The Strikers charges $30 per hour per lane. Security guards are hired to keep the peace if any sort of disturbances arise. If there is a suicide bombing in the city, the customers are sent home.

Introducing a bit of fun back into Kabul, Ms. Rahmani is doing it for her nation and she encourages other Afghan women to join her. “It is amazing to see girls coming here for an hour or two. I overheard them saying ‘I can’t believe we are in Afghanistan’…it was music to my ears” said Ms. Rahmani.

Located just down the street from Kabul’s glitziest mall, is The Strikers, the country’s first bowling alley and owner Meena Rahmani’s gamble on the capital’s newest entertainment venue. But more than a place for family fun in a city largely devoid of options, the 12-lane center stands as a reflection of both the country’s hope for the future and the challenge of securing one even as NATO’s fight against the Taliban enters its 11th year.

 

Watch the interview at www.kabulatwork.tv/chapter/magnates-moguls/female-etnrepreneur-pages/



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