Afghanistan: Business Savvy

Img_4780We have spent much of our time in Afghanistan meeting with friends and family of Dost. One person he was eager to introduce us to was his cousin Zarghuna Walizada, the president of Tac Taz, an Afghan freight shipping company based in Kabul. Walizada is a model business woman with a truly impressive background. She founded the company and has been working as a professional for the past 18 years. During the Taliban period she fled to Pakistan, where she continued running her business remotely. When work demanded face-to-face meetings she would come to Kabul secretly, wearing the required burqa, which shielded her identity, and held covert meetings in hotels and homes.

Today she is a leading figure in Kabul. She is active in a number of business associations and women's organizations. She is also close with President Hamid Karzai and plans to accompany him on an upcoming delegation to Europe. She said she is happy about the improved conditions for women and is eager to se e the situation progress. However, she, like most in Kabul, is frustrated with the current economic and political situation, which seems to be stuck, if not in decline. She, like many others we spoke with, would like to see a stronger U.S. and Western commitment to Afghanistan