//

A cafe in Yemen run by women, for women

2 mins read
Women sit in the only all-female internet cafe in Marib, Yemen October 19, 2020. Picture taken October 19, 2020. REUTERS/Nusaibah Almuaalemi

MARIB (Reuters) – When Um Feras realised there were no leisure spaces for women in her city in Yemen, she founded her own cafe and hopes to change attitudes about women-led businesses.

Um Feras, the owner of the only all-female internet cafe in Yemen’s Marib province prepares a beverage at her cafe in Marib, Yemen October 13, 2020. Picture taken October 13, 2020. REUTERS/Nusaibah Almuaalemi

“There were no places for women to gather comfortably, no places belonging to the female community: where the team from administration to the youngest employee is female,” she said from the Morning Icon cafe she set up in April last year in Marib, central Yemen.

Traditional, conservative attitudes held by many locally against women working outside the home mean her project is new and strange for some people, Um Feras said.

Women sit in the only all-female internet cafe in Marib, Yemen October 13, 2020. Picture taken October 13, 2020. REUTERS/Nusaibah Almuaalemi

“The word ‘cafe’ can be associated with negative ideas and convictions … Every new idea will have its supporters and opponents,” she said, adding she wants to lead by example to show that women can run enterprises.

Wadad, a medical student and cafe customer, said she was drawn to the cafe’s internet connection: “There is space for women in general, amid the the poor internet network in Marib and the limited available spaces for female students.”

Women and a boy sit in the only all-female internet cafe in Marib, Yemen October 13, 2020. Picture taken October 13, 2020. REUTERS/Nusaibah Almuaalemi

Marib boomed into a bustling city at the start of Yemen’s almost six-year war as people fled fighting elsewhere. Running a business is not easy in a country battered by conflict, disease and an increasingly severe economic crisis.

A woman makes an order at the only all-female internet cafe in Marib, Yemen October 19, 2020. Picture taken October 19, 2020. REUTERS/Nusaibah Almuaalemi

Um Feras imports most of her coffee and drinks. Maintaining quality amid rising prices and fluctuating currency rates has been a real challenge, she said. But she aspires to expand into a larger leisure spot for women and children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

'Danger was coming': lone protester who defied Thai police

Next Story

Why Pfizer’s ultra-cold COVID-19 vaccine will not be at the local pharmacy any time soon

Latest from Blog

HANNAH & DOT

"As a kid, I remember driving home to Las Cruces from Juarez on I-10 one very