Program: Awaaz-e-Dosti (Afghan voices)

Title;  ‘To be called a refugee is a strength’


Host: Hello! Hope you all are well. With Awaaz Dosti, I am your host Bilal Danish. In today’s program, I will introduce you to a shopkeeper of Camp No. 3, Haripur, who not only did not compromise with his living conditions but also started his life anew. This courageous man opened a general store and made it a source of employment other than facilitating the rest of the people living in the camp.

As you all know we have been living in Camp No. 3 of Haripur for 30-40 years. The lack of shops in this camp was a big problem for our elders and children. We had to travel about a kilometer and a half to buy daily necessities. But, quite, fortunately, a general store is now open in our camp. Let us introduce you to OMAR KHAN, the owner of this general store.

You have opened this new shop in Camp No. 3 of Haripur. Before that, there was no such shop here. So, do people come here for shopping?

Omar Khan Thank God, people do come here. I am doing my job well.

Does your store have fruit in addition to grains?

Yes, I have fruits and people also come to buy fruits.  Since the people here are mostly poor, I don’t keep expensive fruits.

Summer is up now.  Do you have your drinks, as well?

I have a variety of drinks, including cold drinks and juices.

How should the shopkeeper treat the customer so that they are impressed by him?

The important thing is good manners. If you treat the customer well, they will definitely be impressed. 

How do you deal with people as a shopkeeper?

As a shopkeeper, I have a good attitude toward people, especially my neighbors. Our religion teaches us to be kind to our neighbors, too.

Most of the people in our camp borrow essentials to pay them back on a fixed date.  Do people also borrow from your shop?

Yes, I lend to all my neighbors and acquaintances, but not to strangers.

Wherefrom do you get the vegetables for your shop?

My father brings vegetables from the vegetable market in the morning. When he brings the vegetables, I clean them and put them in my shop.

Ever since you opened a new shop here, have the people here been quite happy?

Yes. The people here are very happy because this is the only shop here where everything for everyday use is available.

Host: You listened to my conversation with Umar Khan who has the only shop at Camp No. 3 in Haripur from where people buy their daily necessities. The locals are also very happy with the opening of Omar Khan’s shop as they no longer have to go far to buy things.  Above all, even in the month of Ramadan, Omar Khan’s shop is a great convenience for the locals. At the end of the program, Bilal Danish will beg to leave. Take care of yourself!


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