Allow PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® to introduce you to Freshta Hazeq, owner of Royal Printing Press in Afghanistan—a living example of a woman determined to break the “glass ceiling” in an industry dominated by men. Freshta began her business in 2007, and since then has encountered incredible opposition; her male employees were bribed to sabotage her business by burning her inventory and breaking her printing machines. Her competitors went so far as to threaten to kidnap her children, and she received death threats!
Perseverance and the support of her husband helped Freshta through those times with strength and grace. She is determined to succeed as a businesswoman in Afghanistan. Freshta says, “I never lost my passion and strength to go ahead and ignore all of them. I believe… nothing is impossible and no work is out of the reach of women.”
Royal Printing Press focuses on three main areas: 1) material printing; 2) digital printing; and 3) media production. Orders are received from the client and the technical department identifies what is required for the job. Proofs are then sent for client’s approval and once approval is given, the job goes to the press.
Using her frustrations as inspiration, Freshta made the decision, against all odds, to continue her advertising and printing press company. Determined, and through her actions, she wanted to show women that other opportunities were available besides sewing and handicrafts. Traditional positions in the work field that have been available to females only reinforced their limited societal roles and Freshta wanted to break that barrier.
Freshta participated in PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® in 2012 and feels the PTB experience “enhanced her abilities to do business by supporting her efforts in creating a business plan and enhanced her financial management skills. Now people in my community view me, a PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® graduate, as a successful woman—a woman who tried a new field of business in the country and has the ability to challenge cultural obstacles.”
*Note: Freshta is working on a book to tell her full story.