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Transforming Lives

Mohammad Saber prints off in large-format using the new digital printer

When Mohammad Saber and Mohammad Asif started Zarnegar, a printing press in Mazari Sharif, it was boom time in the capital of northern Afghanistan’s Balkh province. It was 1999 and Mazari Sharif was rapidly becoming one of Afghanistan’s more important economic hubs. Posters and billboards dotted the city, proof of a flourishing advertising industry.

Manizha Wafeq at her store in downtown Kabul.

When Sania and Manizha Wafeq noticed that women in Kabul were becoming more fashion conscious and that they had more disposable income, the sisters set up a clothes company to cater to the trend.

Juma Khan, a farmer in Panjwayi, with his newly bought tractor.

Until recently, Afghan farmers in Zhari and Panjwayi districts in southern Kandahar province had been using local methods for leveling, plowing, irrigating and spreading seeds. They used animals to prepare their land for cultivation and spent days preparing a small piece of land for farming.

Rasool Mohammad of Zaranjo village in the greenhouse

Until recently, Arghistan—a district in the southern Afghan state of Kandahar that borders Pakistan—imported most of its vegetables from Pakistan and grew poppy instead. It was the only crop that would flourish without water or modern farming techniques, there being no water in Arghistan’s irrigation canals

Deaf student Ziaudeen learns how to call a family member through a Skype video call.

In Afghanistan, a proliferation of mobile phones is dramatically changing how citizens across the country are communicating with one another. But for deaf Afghans, mobile phone usage is limited to SMS text messages—a particular challenge considering that less than one-third of the population is literate.

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Last updated: March 08, 2016

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