Every country has a reason to celebrate mothers. In Afghanistan, the official Mother’s Day is June 16. In 2016, Tolo news ran a piece that led with a statement from the Chief Executive of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah. He said, “Women are the real champions of this country. We hope that there are no tears in the eyes of mothers for martyrdom of their sons anymore. Sons of this soil sacrifice their life to defend this country and mothers bear their pain.”
PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® Class of 2021 graduate Marghuba Safi is like many Afghan mothers who are making great sacrifices for their country and their children, as well as for women not as fortunate. Marghuba runs her natural and organic skin care company in the rural, mountainous province of Laghman, Afghanistan, where just last year, the New York Times captured images of the ominous Taliban Red Unit, an elite force, blocking roads in Alingar District.
Single mothers are nearly unheard of in Afghanistan. So many things have changed for women now that they have protection under the Constitution and through establishing and enforcing the rule of law. Marghuba studied literature at Kabul University. In 2007, she helped to start a private high school while simultaneously working for aid organizations throughout various provinces to uplift more women starting their own businesses. During these early days, Marghuba also separated from her husband and became the sole provider for her three young children. Now educated, the youngest son is studying at the American University of Afghanistan, the middle child is an engineer, and the oldest daughter is soon to be a doctor.
By 2016, Marghuba decided to start her own business and demonstrate to others that success could be had even without a large capital investment or external support. Peshraft Zanan, has been producing a line of natural and organic skin care for nearly five years. The line, Marghoob: The True Essence of Beauty, features handmade soaps and body butters infused with vegetables and herbs from local farms, such as lavender, saffron, marigold, and cucumber. A team of around 20 produces, packages, and labels the finished product. Marghuba’s vision is to be recognized worldwide as a premier handmade organic soap brand. She would like for the brand to express an experience offered by Afghanistan for the beauty of all women. All Marghoob products are completely organic and 100% natural, using the cold craft method to preserve the active principles of the botanicals.
Marghuba has dared to face every challenge to reach her goals. As a role model and champion for women’s initiatives she created two women’s self-help groups. “As an Afghan woman, I faced many difficulties in my business and personal life. It was more difficult for me since I was a single mother and had the responsibilities for small children. However, no matter how much problems came at me, I did not lose hope and fought all of them one by one. Now I am able to proudly say that my children are educated and intelligent in their fields and lives. Besides, through my business life, I am able to say that I have provided work opportunities for women and have trained and rehabbed women to start their own businesses.”
Today, Marghuba can add PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® in-country graduate and Leadership Development candidate to her list of achievements. Through so many unprecedented accomplishments, Marghuba entered the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program specifically to learn financial management, leadership, negotiation, and delegation skills. As women and mothers, often we do not recognize the innate abilities learned through daily trial and error. Sometimes, the greatest knowledge that comes out of learning is to realize the skills are already a part of us. The ability to study and share with fellow classmates with similar dreams can shine the light back on each individual to reveal the true beauty within.