🇪🇬 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

"she works to help me support our family"

No, dude. She supports the family. She is the one doing 95% of the work and you are setting back coasting.
She does the work outside the home. She does the work inside the home.
She is the provider of all things.
She has provided the children
She has provided the child care
She has provided the money to pay for a shelter and education for the children and you.

This dude has no shame.

No wonder there society is in such bad shape. All the men do is create costs.
You can't have a good society when it is full of unproductive and worthless men.

The proper management of human male capital is what makes or breaks a society.

This is a great example of the consequences when men and boys are improperly managed and allowed to do what they want to do instead of what they should be doing.

Author — C.E. Stanton


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


These ladies should run for the public offices instead of the whole bunch of idiot men...

Author — Win


Selling vegetables better than begging

Author — TrucketteTV MsMac


I am from India, like in Egypt Villages Women in our Villages doing a great work in Agriculture. I respect theese Women. They are much better than few Men.

Author — Naveen Kumar


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


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


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


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

Author — Dim Dom


Respect these women for working for there families.

Author — Bushido Shōgun


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


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


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

Author — Mahdi Yusuf


التحيه من الشعب السوداني العظيم الي الشعب العظيم المصري المكاااااااافح

Author — حسام الدين


Love and respect to these mothers. May Allah give you all the happiness. Ameen

Author — nabeel nayyar


I'am algerian, I love egypte country of modest , knowledge, I desire everything, mother=1000 man is lively.

Author — kada bouda


It's a blessing to see this video. God will reward the butter lady, because she is an angel to the children. God bless

Author — Love2TravelAway


The man who helps his wife is a good husband

Author — Catmatix


Big up to all africa moms.big up Egypt. Hustle hard!Tommorow is in God's hands.

Author — Andru ngure


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

Author — Nancy Imily