Saudi student in US cooks to cover costs of education


Saudi Gazette report

MADINAH — Forced by her financial conditions after failing to obtain a scholarship, Areej Saleh Al-Muqaytib started a public kitchen inside her home in America to cover the costs of her education and the education of her son, Al-Watan newspaper reported.

She mainly catered to Saudi students and Arab institutions.

The Saudi law student in California challenged all the obstacles she encountered since her arrival in the country. She had to bear the initial costs of tuition and housing and she covered them by delivering customers’ requests and cooking occasionally.

Areej said in a telephone interview with Al-Watan that she did not have a chance to obtain a scholarship when she arrived with her husband and son in the United States.

She decided to stay put and rely on herself defying the circumstances. She covered her tuition by working. But she needed additional income for housing and the expenses of her son.

Areej said the support of her husband, Abu Abdullah, had a great impact on her. “He has been very supportive of the idea of cooking that I am good at, and helped me a lot in implementing the idea by promoting the dishes to many parties and customers, including students,” she added.

Areej stressed that her business helped her cover the needs of her family. The work inside the kitchen has developed, and it has become professional now. It depends on the quality of cooking, the materials used, and packaging and delivery.

“My efforts translated into formal accreditation by the Saudi and Kuwaiti consulates in Los Angeles, California, where we supply official meals, in addition to organizing parties as well as hosting prominent Saudi figures who visit California,” Areej added.

She thanked all those who have stood by her and encouraged her to pursue this project, which she gained a lot from even though the work along with her studies was a great burden. “But thanks to God I was able to overcome the difficulties and balance between my study and work, at the same time competing with other people. Customer confidence in my work is the capital of my project,” she added.