By Tracey Lomrantz, Glamour magazine
Read More »from Meet The Young Afghan Woman Changing The World One Pair Of Shoes At A Time
Shahla Akbari, age 19, has lived her whole life in Kabul, Afghanistan, where most of her female peers from her school days are now married mothers. But for Shalha, the end of her teenage years are being spent not in the home, as her she admits her brother and male friends would probably prefer, but as an entrepreneur manufacturing and selling her own line of handmade shoes under the label "Afghan Women Initiative Company", or AWIC. She chose to get into the shoe business because it's one of the few things, along with a handbag, that most Afghan women can actually use to express their personal style from beneath a burka.
She recently made a trip to New York for the first time, where an organization called Bpeace--an inspiring non-profit dedicated to creating employment in conflict-afflicted countries and helping foster the spirit of entrepreneurship--granted her an amazing opportunity. Thanks to Bpeace's funding and effort, Shahla spent her time