Growing up as an Afghan in America, I often found myself wondering what life would have been like if my parents never left their homeland. My parents fled from Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980’s. They immigrated to America in search for a safer life and brighter future for our family. As a child, I remember hearing stories and seeing pictures of what my family’s life was like back home, before the war. I would always ask my father to take me back to visit. I was born in America and I felt short changed because I never had the chance to meet my family back home, see where my parents grew up or experience life in Afghanistan.
In 2019, my wish finally came true! My father took me to visit Afghanistan for the first time. I had every emotion running through my body from the moment we took off from San Francisco, until we landed safely in Afghanistan. I was 26 years old and even though I felt like this trip was well overdue, it was as if I was at the right place at the right time.
Family and friends greeted my father and I with open arms and hospitality. As we settled in, I began to quickly realize that day-to-day life in Afghanistan was much different than what I was used to in America. Majority of families are living in extreme poverty and very harsh conditions. I never realized how lucky and privileged I was to have basic necessities like electricity and water. Right away, I knew I wanted to find a way to help these poor families and children in Afghanistan, but how?
After a few weeks of traveling around Afghanistan, from Kabul to Herat I fell in love with the tradition, people and most of all the food and afghan tea! Everywhere we went we would be shown the upmost hospitality and people wouldn’t take no for an answer when we were offered food or afghan tea. The tea had a very rich golden-yellow color with a beautiful aroma and taste that was very soothing. The food was mouth-watering delicious, from the white and yellow rice to the tender kabobs and the sweet-tooth yellow desserts. I asked my father what was the secret ingredient to all of these amazing dishes and he answered with one word, “Saffron.”
The next day my father took me to Ghoryan located in Western Afghanistan, about a 13-hour drive from Iran. He showed me acres upon acres of land, which has been in our family for generations. My father informed me that farmers were getting ready for the Saffron season to start. They were preparing to harvest on the same dirt we were standing on. It was at that moment when I realized how I was going to give back to the poor people of Afghanistan.
As I researched Saffron, I began to see that Saffron has numerous health benefits. Saffron is a natural anti-depressant. Saffron also helps with PMS symptoms and can improve erectile dysfunction. Cleopatra enjoyed the smell of Saffron so much she would often bath in Saffron before intimacy. Alexander the Great would also bath in Saffron to help heal his wounds and battle scars. Saffron has been around for centuries and has countless benefits if consumed or if used as a topical.
Finally, it hit me! I can help give back to the poor people of Afghanistan and help families that have been raising their children in a warzone for decades by exporting Saffron from Afghanistan here to America. This not only helps provide jobs for Afghan farmers, women and their families, but it also helps Afghan farmers find a positive alternative to stop growing poppy plants which is produced to make opium and heroin.
That’s when Afghan Saffron Co. was born. After plenty of research and discussions with my wife, we saw an opportunity to help give back to the poor people of Afghanistan. Together, we have created an outlet for the less fortunate by bridging the gap between third world poverty and economic opportunity here in America. When you purchase with us, at least 13% of every sale is donated to Afghan farmers, women and their families.