Saudi student sells shawarma to support family

Saudi student sells shawarma to support family

Murtada Al-Musaileem:
Murtada Al-Musaileem: "I have chosen this work because I love it. I have never before seen a Saudi man doing this job." — Okaz photo

By Fatima Al-Dibais

DAMMAM — Murtada Al-Musaileem, a Saudi student in his third secondary school year, has set an example for the young Saudi men and women who are determined to achieve their ambitions without being distracted by their own personal or family circumstances.

He has become a shawarma mualim (teacher) to break the monopoly of the expatriates over this profession.

He is working at a restaurant in Dammam to support his family after his father was incapacitated by his health condition.

Musaileem is the first Saudi to work in this field which is not familiar to his countrymen especially at his age.

Video clips showing him preparing and selling the shawarma have gone viral on the social media with commentators commending his work.

“I have chosen this work because I love it. I have never before seen a Saudi man doing this job,” he said.

Musaileem said he wanted to prove to the young Saudi men that they could do this job with high quality and professionalism.

Musaileem said an expatriate taught him the secrets of making the shawarma and continued to train him until he mastered the profession. “I joined a restaurant at a monthly salary of SR1,000 which was later increased to SR2,000, he said.

Musaileem said he works from 6 p.m. until midnight because during the day time he is attending his classes.

“I wanted to depend on myself and to help my father so I continued working in this job of which I am extremely fond,” he said.

He said he received good offers from a number of other restaurants but he preferred to continue where his now until he has enough money and experience to open his own project.

Musaileem said during the examinations, he changes his work schedule to start from midday to 6 p.m. so as to be able to prepare himself for the examinations.


  1. The majority of the world’s population work hard and in low paid jobs all over the world. This is the reality of life. Why do we feel the need to publicise or praise a Saudi for doing such work? Is it because Saudi’s consider themselves above such jobs or somehow entitled to the privilieges of life? Privilieges are not an entitlement but must be earnt by hard work, sweat and patience and above all the grace of God.

    • We should praise and we should encourage. What is normal to us is quite the opposite to the average Saudi. Articles like these give ideas and encourage those thinking of doing it but worried about social stigma.

  2. Oh Man! Iwas really surprised but to think it over ….yes , you should be a model for all i mean all of saudi youth, no to depend on their parents for their sustenance as ALLAH swt will be there to guide and help you. May ALLAH swt Bless you in all your endeavors…..

  3. While it is good to see young Saudi men are taking jobs that are traditionally considered taboo or off-limits but real Saudization will happen only if such things stop becoming news (means it becomes just another acceptable job in society because such sectors/jobs are a part of society).

  4. encourage this, do not project this as job of less dignity… great job halal income wishing you own few shops like this and be a master bro.

  5. Well done, young man.I am delighted to read this bit of news. I hope other Saudis will follow your

  6. What is wrong in this business?.. he can earn more than Government Job employee. It depends how hard he work, he get more business and get more profit. Running own business is better than working for someone..

  7. Masha ALLAH it’s realy happy to see this. Which country is not important. Every where life is very hard to live , what’s wrong to do any work . It’s great to listen you making shawarma to support ur family insha-Allah… it’s not far u became a restaurant owner. ALLAH bless u brother ,

  8. It is good to hear that a saudi student works at restaurant to find support for his studies and without being a burden to his family. The society should appreciate his positive attitude which could be an example for other saudi youths. May Allah bless him.

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