SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi women break new ground as hotel chefs

March 19, 2018

Saudi Gazette report

MAKKAH
— Nine Saudi women have proved themselves in the field of culinary arts even though it has been only two years since women in the country were allowed to work as hotel chefs, Al-Madina newspaper reported on Sunday.

Abeer Al-Harbi said she worked at a hotel in Makkah where she serves people of numerous nationalities.

“My colleagues and I went through three months of training before we became full time chefs at the hotel. We receive tens of orders a day. We are not only trained in cooking but also in presentation,” said Al-Harbi.

Salma Basalama said there used to be a stigma on women working in hotels but that has completely changed today.

“I feel very safe and comfortable working at a hotel. I started working two years ago and I see more women coming in to the field. I didn’t face many obstacles in my way as everyone around me from family to co-workers to customers and guests have been very supportive and encouraging,” said Basalama.

Nada Sultan said, "Saudi women proved to the world that we are capable at excelling in various fields that were traditionally male-dominated."

She added: “We get a lot of support from the Ministry of Labor and Social Development. The ministry creates employment opportunities for us as well as provides training.”

The head of pastries section at the hotel, Nisreen Ashary, said nine Saudi women worked under her. "They were trained to prepare 15 different pastries and have all shown great talent and diligence in their work," she said.


March 19, 2018
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