Jumana Makki: A Saudi Mother who sells tea in the streets to feed her children

According to the sources, after the city has banned the street trade, a woman Jumana Makki, who sells tea on King Abdul Aziz Road in Madinah is about to lose her business, but Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage grants permission to her that she can run her tea seller stall. Jumana Makki is a Saudi woman who is a widow having two sons and four daughters. Makki is the sole earner for the family. In addition to supporting her family, she has to pay the house rent, as well as the transportation expenses for her children. Before opening her tea stall, she applied to many places for the job but she could not get one.[irp]

She has broken the handcuffs of unemployment and started earning a respectable income by selling tea in the street. Makki makes tea and some types of coffee on firewood because it is the low-priced way to brew tea and does not require a big investment.  Her university-going daughters helped in running her tea business. Makki said she was determined in her decision because it was necessary for her to do her business with complete faith and without any sort of hesitancy. Makki has said in an interview with Al-Madinah newspaper that she has discussed the idea with her daughters while they were chatting about how they can make their lives and living standards better, especially with the continuously rising prices and a problem of unemployment. She added that she has started selling tea and coffee stall at the side of the road because renting a place for this purpose is not affordable for her since she started the business her living conditions had remarkably improved and she has found this business profitable one.

Makki told the newspaper that when she had to face severe criticism from her loved ones such as relatives and friends. They did not like the idea at all that a woman would sell tea on the streets. She said that she does not find anything wrong in this business as she is earning an income with honor and dignity. And most of that she was making good money from selling tea. Makki further added that the critics gradually kept quiet and she started hearing words of encouragement and support because of her dedication to her work.

Makki said that she has full support from her university-going daughters as they help her in selling the tea and coffee to the pedestrians and the eaters or picnickers. She said that her daughters do not feel ashamed as this is a respectable and honorable business. Customers also have acknowledged their sincerity with their work and that is why they do not annoy them anymore. Jumana Makki said about her daily routine that she starts her work every day after Asar prayer and continue working till twelve midnights.[irp]

She has requested the authorities to arrange a stall or a permanent place for her business to sell tea. According to the sources, SCTH President Prince Sultan Bin Salman has approved a temporary corner for Makki to sell tea in Al-Salam Festival and also a permanent place in the cultural area in King Fahd Park. The president of Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage said that it is the duty of SCTH to help hardworking and passionate citizens.  According to the source, Makki is grateful to Prince Sultan and the Saudi people for being kind-hearted to her and also for re-tweeting her story, which was trending worldwide.

Source: Saudi Gazette