Mitra Budri

NE student Mitra Budri lived in Afghanistan until she was 18 months old, then in India for three years before she moved to the United States.

Last summer, she went back to Afghanistan to visit her mom’s side of the family.

“It’s not as messed up as I thought it would be,” she said. “It still has some scenery.”

Her relatives who live there are more upscale then most, so she didn’t have to wear her hijab most of the time, she said, but when in the markets they had to be cautious.

“When we were there, girls were being kidnapped still,” she said. “So we couldn’t leave the house unless a guy was with us.”

Still a baby, Budri and her family first moved to India in 1988 to escape problems dealing with the Taliban. Because her father was a member of the Northern Alliance, an organization that fought against the Taliban, he stayed behind to finish what he started.

Three years later, the entire family moved to the United States.

“I remember the excitement of having more freedom and opportunities,” Budri said. “I no longer had to be stuck in that strict culture.”

Budri currently works as a server in her father’s Iranian and Afghan restaurant, Kasra, in Richardson. The restaurant has been open since 2004 and Budri says because of the number of catering and party orders they have had recently they are thriving.

Upon getting a medical degree, Budri plans to open a private practice somewhere in the U.S. and then open a hospital in Afghanistan.

“There are so many unfortunate people there who need help,” she said.

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