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MENAFN - Arab News - 27/07/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab News) E holy month of Ramadan created job opportunities for many households in Asir. Such families also benefited from the tourism season.During Ramadan nights these families introduced popular and traditional meals at select stalls making a good profit. Most of these families have turned their houses into workshops; they made samosas pastries and other popular dishes to sell them in the popular markets. Umm Shaker one of the members of the productive families in Asir said she and her three daughters make all efforts during Ramadan to prepare special meals dedicated only for the holy month.Speaking to Arab News about her job she said: 'Bynoontime my daughters and I start to prepare samosas pastries tanoor bread maraq lahoh helbeh and juices in order to sell them by the iftar time."Umm Shaker said she works all night long to prepare meals ordered by special clients and restaurants.Fatima Ali Asiri who sells her products in thelocalmarket said many Saudi women in the area turn their houses into kitchens and restaurants to add to the income of the family. 'It is a holy month filled with mercy and bountiful blessings" she added.Mona Al-Afaleq from the University of Dammam's faculty of business administration said about 51 percent of the productive families in the Kingdom is completely dependent on incomes yielding from selling handicrafts and homemade dishes.'In a recent study statistics indicated that 83 percent of these productive families sell their products from home against 18 percent that sell production through the marketplace and local festivals held across the country" said Afaleq.Remarkably added Aflaleq the study found out that about 27 percent of the productive families consist of female university students who contribute to the income of their families by producing handicrafts heritage and artistic items and popular dishes.The study also found out that only 10 percent of the households participate in festivals and events held inside and outside the borders of their region.The study appealed to the concerned bodies to give support to crafts and domestic production of those families and help them to export their products abroad so as they be self-sufficient and reduce poverty rates among them.Afaleq said the projects of productive families are among the best community projects with an economic touch aimed at developing human resources and investing in the family's effort and time.'Such projects enable families to face the changing economic and social circumstances by transforming their houses to small production units yielding revenues for them" she added.She pointed out that activating the role of productive families is one of the challenges facing the project because of the lack of an official umbrella to regulate the business or providing training marketing and licensing.'Therefore holding festivals and exhibitions is one way to address this problem in the short run" she said adding that drafting clear mechanisms for training licensing and marketing will have positive effects on these entrepreneurships.Abdullah Al-Ahmari an economist and member of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) expected good economic revenue for each productive family during Ramadan not less than SR10000.Al-Ahmari said the productive families' project gained much popularity in the cooking business and heritage products.Jasser Al-Harish supervisor of the national program for the development of crafts and handicrafts at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) said the project of productive families was established two years ago by the decision to the Council of Ministers.'It is one of the most important programs of SCTA as it deals with craftsmen and women within the frame of developing the work of crafts and productive families. The program extends help and training as well as marketing mechanisms. It also offers financial aid with the coordination of the Saudi Credit and Saving Bank" said Al-Harish.He said a study is being developed to specify the support of the bank for craftswomen and productive families and pointed at the role of the Ministry of Social Affairs in providing training.'SCTA intends to sign partnership agreements with a number of bodies to regulate the business. There are also scientific studies on the economic feasibility of the work of those households during the tourism seasons in general and Ramadan month in particular" said Al-Harish.


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