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Join the discussion: The Shams sisters decided to open a bakery to help other Afghan women. The hitch? They didn’t bake.

Narges Shams boxed pastries for a customer while her sister Khatera (right) prepared a drink, and her other sister Homeyra worked the register at Sunshine Spice Bakery & Cafe in Boise, Idaho.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

BOISE, Idaho — Bahar Amir Shams last visited Kabul in 2016. It was her first trip back to her birthplace after two decades away. Her family had fled quickly, just as word came that the Taliban was going door to door looking for girls for arranged marriages. With four young daughters, Shams’ father knew he had no choice but to find a way out of the country he loved.

The family hid in hearses and truck beds, waded across roaring rivers, and found refuge in Iran and Turkey before finally landing in Boise, Idaho, in 2002. Shams was only 6 when they left Kabul and when she returned as a young woman, she came to a realization about her former home city.


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Hanna Krueger can be reached at hanna.krueger@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @hannaskrueger.