Najib is around 24 year’s old living in Jalalabad city. He started talking about his time being a refugee in Pakistan. Najib’s family left Afghanistan in 200. Their village was bombarded and they had to leave. When they arrived in Pakistan, they settled in Punjab. Punjab is the state where the official language is Urdu, and therefore most of the people are speaking Urdu.
It took Najibi a long time to learn Urdu. When he was enrolled in public school it was difficult for him to follow the lessons.
“At the beginning I was not even able to understand the simplest lessons in the class.”
But language was not the only problem Najib and his family faced: Lack of employment was the other big challenge. All of his family members are educated and had university degrees, nevertheless they couldn’t find a job. So they decided to start their own business. They opened a shop in the downtown market.
For 8 years Najib’s family stayed in Pakistan, and when the government of Pakistan announced for the first time announced that Afghan refugees should go back to their own country, Najib and his family decided to return. His father was old then, and upon his return, he got his retirement.
Najib’s relatives wanted to send some of the young men of their families to European countries. They were optimistic and believed working in European countries would open possibilities for them to have good jobs and have good life.
“I know how life would be as a migrant. People work in farms and as labors in the countries they migrate illegally. Most of them even don’t get employment, and those governments only help them to survive.” Najib said.
Therefore instead of spending money on the expensive trip to Europe he decided to initiate a business in his own city. “I wanted to find a way of making money and helping my family.”
In 2008, Najib came to Kabul with 8000$ of initial investment. In Kabul, he wanted to look for a business opportunity.“I searched and knocked at several doors, one after another; I didn’t give up, and I knew I could make it.”
He saw an advertisement in TV of a producing company which wanted to open branches in other provinces. This gave Najib his business idea. He visited some companies to see if they were willing to open a branch in Nangarhar. It was not the same company as it was shown in TV, but that was the business idea for Najib.
He met with dozens of companies in a short time, and finally he was able to convince a company that was importing cosmetic products. At the beginning they signed the contract that Najib would supply cosmetic products to customers in Jalalabad city only.
Fortunately he was successful. He then talked with the company, and then signed the contract for other eastern provinces as well. Najib’scompany is now operating in Kunar, Jalalabad, Laghman and …?
Najib also provided employment opportunity for young men who originally had wanted to leave country
Najib also pursues his education. He I studying to get his bachelor degree at the same time managing his company.
Najib believes, “there are lots of opportunities for starting a business in our own country. If young people give the same energy to build up a business in their own country, they can be even more successful than they would be in other countries. I started with 8000USD and people spend at least twice as much for migration!