Hamida Ali Hazara belongs to the city of Quetta in Balochistan. The province and its inhabitants are often neglected.
Hamida belongs to a persecuted minority in Pakistan, the Hazara community. For them to be able to come out of their houses and become active citizens society, is not an easy task.
Hamida strongly believes in female empowerment. She wanted to start an initiative which would allow the women of her community to be able to earn a living and discover life beyond the four walls of their houses in Balochistan.
The Hazara Restaurant was set up by Hamida around four months ago in order to fulfill her wish of helping other women. Several women in the community do not have any breadwinners in the family due to persecution. Such women need employment opportunities more than anything else, especially in a safe environment.
In Balochistan, this is considered to be a very bold move for a woman. This is why Hamida had to overcome some hurdles in the beginning. However, her brother supported her throughout with the idea.
She wanted to hire an all-woman employee force but it was not a feasible idea. This is why she has a team of seven ladies and two men working at the restaurant. In the beginning, only women would visit the restaurant. However, over time, families have started to make this their go-to restaurant.
People took to Twitter to appreciate Hamida’s efforts…
— Behrouz Baloch (@BehrouzBaloch) October 17, 2017
…and encouraged her to not lose her determination.
— Aamna (@Akxpert) October 19, 2017
The restaurant has also received the attention of various news channels.
24 NEWS LIVE ABOUT HAZARA RESTURANTCONGRATULATIONS TO ALL STAFF OF HAZARA RESTURANT FOR GREAT ACHIVMENT AND SUCCESS?
Posted by Hamida Ali Hazara on Freitag, 20. Oktober 2017
Another fact that must be kept in mind is that Hazaras have been living in Pakistan since the 1880s. Despite this, they have not been accepted by society.
For someone to take charge of the situation in such circumstances requires a lot of strength and courage. Hamida was told repeatedly that some extremist groups would try and target her. She was told to go sit in a mosque instead.
But her resolve was much greater than these threats.
As a community that witnesses these acts of discrimination, everyone should try and understand their position. It becomes imperative to appreciate such ventures and support them wholeheartedly. We wish Hamida all the best and hope her restaurant takes off and soars.
Cover image via Hamida Ali Hazara/Facebook