Many are enterprising at a very young age. For that matter, they can be groomed. While visiting the Muscat Festival, it is easy to see younger ones helping out their fathers or brothers.
Lakshmi Kothaneth –
Entrepreneurship is not a new-found profession or a term that has just found its definition in recent years.
It is a spirit that has always existed in mankind and maybe with all living creatures. If you look at the animal kingdom closely, it is easy to note that some do more than just surviving. They thrive.
Many are enterprising at a very young age. For that matter, they can be groomed. While visiting the Muscat Festival, it is easy to see younger ones helping out their fathers or brothers. Then there are fathers who support daughters who have a jewellery stall at the festival ground.
It is interesting to see how the Muscat Festival has become an important event for many individuals. The festival is part of an annual business plan for many micro, small and medium enterprises.
There are individuals who have a permanent presence at the festival ground. We came across an eatery that seemed to be thronged by customers having hot tea and snacks from East Africa. There is no board as the name faces the road, but who cares for name of the place when they know tasty food is served there. Food speaks for itself.
Inside the shop, we found the entrepreneur: Zuweina al Jahedhami. When we requested to see her, she took a quick break to attend to us.
Her story was an inspiring one. She began her career with government service in 1973. After she retired, she was eager to continue with another passion of hers: cooking.
She was a computer analyst. “I pushed my degree and qualifications under the cupboard after I retired. But I am busy now,” Zuweina said.
Ask why she was not starting her own restaurant, she says: “I do not have the time. I have my catering business to take care of. Every evening. we are here. Even as we speak, my daughter is busy with an order we just received from Fanja for 500 people,” said Zuweina.
Did she mind being interviewed? “Why should I?” she says. “I am in the food business. Every bit of publicity will make a difference.”
All this proves women entrepreneurs in Oman did not just make an appearance in the recent years.
Raya Seif al Riyami, whom people fondly refer to as Abla Raya, is a trailblazer who made a smooth transition from teaching and social work to entrepreneurship. She has been a pioneer not just as a career woman, but as an enterprising individual who has now returned to her interest: education.
Their rich experience can be a wealth of knowledge for the younger generation. There is a common streak in them — they are strong and disciplined. They don’t wait for anything to come on a platter. They have a dream and they want it to happen.
Abla Raya went hang-gliding along the beach of Shatti al Qurum and above Salalah during the khareef season. She is more than eager to teach the younger generation about the significance of the Omani culture.
During her early days, she used to teach at Sidab in Muscat. Soon, she was part of the Omani Women Association in Muscat, engaging in social work.
It all makes one wonder what sets apart the go-getters? Is it competitiveness? It can’t be passion alone. Could it be an in-born trait?
The belief in oneself can be shaken by many factors, but somehow they have kept it intact and built on their knowledge. They also know they are capable. Such is their level of confidence.
Just meet them and feel yourself boosted. I see an academy happening.