Afghan refugee’s ‘Dream’ coffee shop in Iran becomes reality

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Afghan refugee Fatemeh Jafari is living out a dream in her basement coffee shop in Tehran that is out of reach for millions like her in Iran.

Jafari hopes her “Telma Cafe” (“Dream Cafe”) will help bridge the divide between Afghans and Iranians and fight the xenophobia many Afghans face in Iran.

The U.N. estimates that more than 3 million Afghans, including as many as 2 million who entered the country without legal permission, live in the Islamic Republic. Even those legally in Iran face challenges in finding work.

Jafari, a law student, worked with her friend Hamed Azar, another Afghan who studies engineering, to get the permit to open the cafe — no easy task given that Labor Ministry’s normal policy of not allowing Afghans to run cafes.

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