The Strikers is Afghanistan’s first and, as a result far, only bowling alley. If Ms. Rahmani has her method, it won’t be for long.
She admits it’s a risky venture: A weird new sport; a secular hangout for both sexes; foreign-looking illumination and a set of 10-pin lanes. She has security guards to keep out problem.
But locals are coming. They’re competing for top scores. And they’re significant their friends.
In September, 2006, Ms. Rahmani was 22, newly married and newly transplanted to Canada after growing up an Afghan immigrant in Pakistan.
She had her first driver’s licence. She was learning to steer the vagaries of Canadian bureaucracy and Ontario weather.
And she chosen a bowling ball for the first time in the Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre, a five-minute drive from her family’s Woodbridge home.
She’s the first to admit she’s no bowling prodigy: Her highest score is 184. But at the 22-lane venue, she had an epiphany of sorts.
Ms. Rahmani hoped to return to Afghanistan a filmmaker. But in 2010, visiting her family’s old home in Kabul for the first time in two decades, she was stunned by what she saw.
She hopes to return to Canada for her nationality, and to do her master’s in industry in Toronto before maybe trying her hand at films.
“I was so busy with this business of bowling, I couldn’t go into documentary-making,” she says. “Hopefully by next year, or by the end of this year, I’ll go do that.”