Afghan shoppers go online to avoid bombs
Suicide bombings and other attacks in Kabul have killed and wounded hundreds of people this year and security is expected to deteriorate ahead of elections planned for October
Shoppers in the Afghan capital are going online for everything from fashion to furniture to avoid bomb attacks and sexual harassment, with dozens of start-ups doing a brisk trade where there were few on the ground two years ago.
Suicide bombings and other attacks in Kabul have killed and wounded hundreds of people this year and security is expected to deteriorate ahead of elections planned for October. Sexual harassment on the street is widespread. The new retailers, with names like AzadBazar.af, afom.af, JVBazar.com and zarinas.com, sell goods ranging from cosmetics, computers, kitchenware and furniture to cars, rugs and real estate.
Student Asila Sulaimani described online shopping as a "good experience" in a country at war. "Who dares go out shopping these days?" she said. "Fears of an explosion, an attack and the most common thing, harassment, follow me like my shadow."
Tamim Rasa, 28, is the founder of Rasa Online, which he started eight months ago. He has since signed contracts with more than 60 traders. "We work as a connecting bridge between people and large stores. We were making a loss, but now we are making a profit of 1,000 to 3,000 afghanis (Rs 945 to Rs 2,800) a day. It shows we are growing."
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