Savory smells waft out of the cloth-walled pop-up restaurant in Kabul. Banowan-e-Afghan is a dine-in restaurant for women, run by women, a rarity in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. While many restaurants have designated family areas where men can only enter if they're accompanying female relatives, a whole restaurant dedicated to serving and employing women is rare. Many of the women who work here are widows, often the family’s sole breadwinner. Two of the female employees prepare the food in their own kitchens and it is brought to the restaurant. If the restaurant does well, owner Samira Muhammadi plans to employ more disadvantaged women and pay better salaries. Ultimately, she wants to make the space larger and hopes to host exhibitions of women's handicrafts where customers could buy clothes or jewelry directly from the women who made them.

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