🇪🇬 Egypt's Women Street Sellers | Al Jazeera World

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🇪🇬 Egypt's Women Street Sellers | Al Jazeera World 4.5
Shaimaa al-Sayyid grew up watching her mother and grandmother sell vegetables in the streets of Manshiyat al-Qanatir, a tourist town in Egypt. Every morning, they'd get up very early and travel to small village markets to buy vegetables which they'd sell at a higher price in the city.

Now a commerce student, Shaimaa comes straight to the market after college to help her mother Muna.

"I raised all my children here," said Muna, "I like trading. I inherited it from my mother. She has been doing this for more than 50 years. My mother is the one who started a market in this street."

"Around 17 years ago, I told my husband I wanted to sell vegetables in the street market with my mother. He first said 'no' but I then convinced him ... He knows I'm doing this for a good reason. He also works hard so we can both raise our children well."

While Muna and her husband don't have college degrees, they're motivated to work hard so their children can have a more comfortable life.

"I want my children to study, get university degrees and have good jobs," said Muna.

'Life is expensive'

Travelling outside her village, Aida Muhammad sells vegetables in Cairo's streets in the morning but goes home to look after her children in the afternoon.

"I'm trying to earn a living to buy some stuff for my children. Life is expensive and my husband doesn't make much. So I help him," said Aida.

Similarly, sisters Sanaa Sayyid Ahmed and Nanaa Sayyid Ahmed spend four days a week selling cheese, eggs and garlic in Cairo and only two days a week at home with their families. Their village is more than a day's travel away, so they've managed to rent an unfurnished apartment just to sleep in.

Finding the perfect location on the street to sell her vegetables used to be a problem - until one day other vendors came to her rescue.

"The butcher told us not to sit next to his shop," Sanaa said. The butcher was worried that her products would attract flies. Then, the other vendors shouted back, "Let her stay. She's trying to earn a living. She sells great cheese and eggs. It's your meat that attracts flies."

Besides the hustle, Sanaa isn't bothered by haggling customers. "When we state the price, the customer starts to barter. This is business. Bargaining and headaches," said Sanaa. "I have no fears as long as the scales I weigh the cheese on are working well and aren't broken."

Cheese and ghee (clarified butter) seller Ilham Abdul Aziz is a childless widow who selflessly provides for her impoverished sister, unemployed brother-in-law and the rest of their family.

She's had many opportunities to remarry, but she's steadfastly refused. Instead, said Ilham, "I wanted to dedicate my life to these children and support them until they all get married. People praise me, saying I'll be rewarded for dedicating my life to these children."

"I love my job. It's how we earn our living," she added. "I would never hate it because it's how we earn our living so we don't beg or borrow money from others. It's a blessing from God."

This film focuses on the daily lives of five Egyptian village women who are driven by the need to provide for their children and families by selling local produce in the street markets across the country. It provides an insight into the women's daily struggle to survive and the sacrifices each of them makes to sustain their livelihoods, just above the poverty line.

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💬 Comments on the video

Selling vegetables better than begging

Author — TrucketteTV MsMac


never take life for granted, this strong, smartand beautiful women deserve so much more, this world is so unfair.

Author — mukongolo Sitati


Respect To The Mums And Daughters Hustling An Honest Living In A Challenging World! Insha Allah Ease Is Due In Your Direction

Author — Hanad Kamal


is a hard life this woman never laugh have no fun in life, they work hard just to get by, i lived in Cairo before, I pray the woman get all the respect they deserve

Author — Marisailuminada


هدول نساء الجنه ... الي بتتعب وتشقى عشان تربي عيالها وتساعد زوجها ... بس المختلف بينا في اليمن وبين أرياف مصر ان الغني في قرى اليمن بيعطي الفقير ويساعد في زواجه ومعيشته عشان كذا الحمد لله بيننا رحمه وتعاون المليان يدي للفاضي ... أتمنى اشوف بكل الدول العربيه كذا ... تحيه لشعب مصر من اليمن

Author — Remaa Remaa


may Allah make life easy for these mothers and sisters and reward them in the next life with Jannah for what they are doing is indeed a real JIHAD..

Author — Hannad Halyeey


They remind me off my mother ya Allah put Baraka in their business Amiin

Author — Mahdi Yusuf


Hats off to these mothers, daughters and sisters.. As salamu Alaykum... What you are doing for your family is commandable! You are not begging, you're hardworking women. Ma Shaa Allaah.. May Allaah Subbanahu wa Ta'ala reward you immensely Aameen

Author — Sincere_ Sista


I am from Pakistan and I love Egypt, Great respect for these women sellers. May Allah bless them.

Author — Dim Dom


I've been to Egypt and believe it or not, those vegetables are so fresh! And even they sell in the streets, it's still taste really good . I will definitely go back there again and again. ..

Author — Lacee Kar


مصر قلوبه طيبه جداً بحبك يا مصر وبحب شعبك الطيب والجدعان تحياتي من الأقصر😘😘❤

Author — Møĥämêð Ełŧúřķÿ Møĥämêð Ełŧúřķÿ


اكثر شعب صابر هو الشعب المصري
ربي يفرج على كل مسلم.
اخوكم من الجزائر

Author — Faris Rida


احب النساء القويات الشريفات مثل هؤلاء النسوة سلامي ليهم من الجزاير حفظكن الله واعانكن

Author — Nancy Imily


اللهم احفظ مصر .. ارضها وشعبها وبارك لهم في رزقهم وصاعهم

Author — سعد العبيدي


التحيه من الشعب السوداني العظيم الي الشعب العظيم المصري المكاااااااافح

Author — حسام الدين


I love Egypt and it’s people, life is very hard for most Egyptians, they deserve better, but things would be so much better with less children.

Author — Nader


الله محي الست المصرية ، اختك ليندة من الجزاءر

Author — linda louna


Being a woman in Egypt seems like a very harsh life.

Author — Helen E


I was in Egypt in the 1960s and looking at it now, it looks further back in time and has not moved forward, especially the way the women dress.

Author — kpzcbttp


That woman has seven daughters and two sons....and says doesn't have enough money. Who would...
These people still live medieval age. And think that way.

Author — ddraguti