Monday, February 05, 2007

Warm Bread on a Cold, Cold Day


It was a regular sight, the flat loaves of Afghan bread stacked on shelves to cool by the door.

But after September 11th, things changed. Its owner, Najib, lost his major clients, Zabar's, Balluchi's, Bloomingdale's and Market Place. People smashed his windows. Others, in the lost hours of the night, fired bullets into his door. For a while, Najib closed his doors, undone by the stress of it all.

Meanwhile, the police stationed a car on the hill by the cemetery to watch over the little bakery. They told him he should paint over Afghan. So Najib replaced Afghan with Kabul.

One day the police told Najib they couldn't protect him any more. He was on his own.

Najib kept on. His clients returned. And person can still walk in and buy a freshly baked loaf for a $1.25.

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