Learning Desi Cooking at a Tax Office

Classes are made accessible to the wider American-Pakistani community via Facebook Live. (Photo by Mustafa Z. Mirza via Bklyner)

During the week, Bibi Jan Corp on Coney Island Avenue serves as a tax and immigration services office for its mostly male clientele.

On weekends, it turns into a makeshift kitchen where Pakistani women and girls learn to cook healthy South Asian meals while socializing with others in the community. In a multimedia story that appeared in Bklyner, Mustafa Zafar Mirza profiles this corner of Little Pakistan, which Bazah Roohi started as part of her efforts to encourage Pakistani women to be independent while still keeping their traditions alive.

An IRS-certified tax preparer by day, Roohi often works six days a week during the height of tax season. In the summer, when things are slower, she organizes these classes through her small public charity, the American Council of Minority Women.

Mirza speaks to some of the women, and young women, who attend the classes, including a 14-year-old who says that “as I’m growing older I don’t go out as much, I’m more of a Netflix person” but this is the “one place that I’m actually excited to go to.” Find out why at Bklyner. And get a glimpse of the “safe space” in a video accompanying the story.

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