Tahmina is a WOC-owned brand with a mission to build ethical markets for conflict-affected communities. We believe that economic development is one of the sustainable agents of change to war-torn societies, and that the call to bravery will overcome the history of fear in these nations. Our maiden project begins in Afghanistan with one of its best luxury items: saffron and saffron-infused teas.
When I was in college, I read about Afghanistan’s illicit drug industry for the first time. There was something tragic and unjust about it—a wartorn, impoverished nation supplying a global drug crisis. A few years later, I learned that the Afghan government was investing in saffron as an alternative to drug cultivation. It made sense: saffron is the world’s most expensive spice and highly treasured in culinary and medical traditions around the world. To build an industry around it would be an economic game-changer for farmers and women. Yet, due to the lack of infrastructure and access to international markets, it was struggling to take off.
Then I had a crazy idea: what if I moved to Afghanistan and helped export saffron? I had lived and worked in that region of the world before, so it wasn’t entirely farfetched. But at the same time, one simply does not just move to Afghanistan. I seriously wrestled with the idea for weeks. I thought through all the risks and dangers of moving to a warzone. But there was a small voice in my head that kept asking: “How can you not at least try?”
So in 2015, I moved to Afghanistan.
A few years later, we started Tahmina. Tahm in Persian means “strong” and “brave.” That is what I’ve seen with everyone I’ve worked with on the ground. The people of Afghanistan have endured unimaginable hardship, yet respond with the most incredible resilience. And in that spirit, we press forward together to create meaningful, empowering, and sustainable change. Pull up a chair and have a cup of our tea—we welcome you to be a part of a new chapter in Afghanistan.