In Afghanistan, a few courageous women have become small business owners amidst a war-torn economy in shambles and immense hostility.  BBC News highlights Raqiba Barmaki, the only female shop owner in Mazar-e-Sharif, and her ambitious business plans.  “My shop does not have the best site. It is not in the main market. But it helps me to feed and educate my children and make myself independent,” she says.

Success stories such as Mrs. Barmaki’s convey a hopeful message to the world that Afghanistan is slowly realizing prosperity and freedom as tenacious individuals invest in their communities and the future.