UAE-born Afra Bint Salem, 75, has been in business since she was 10 years old. She stood next to her mother in the sale of milk, pumpkin and salt in the market, which she loved and spent most of her time.

Although Afra's mother was an early age at the age of 12 and traveling with her husband to Bahrain before returning to the country in 1970, she did not stop trading until she was unable to stand in the market by virtue of her age, Wealth, and the livelihood of her family. "Marriage did not change my rush to life, my love for business and dealing with customers in the market. On the contrary, I became more determined and daring, and I benefited from those qualities in building a cohesive family," says Afra.

A constant dream

For more than 50 years, Afra has worked through many challenges, still dreaming of the day when she returns to the market and returns to her buying and selling business. She remembers working in Bahrain as a midwife in a hospital, but her passion for commerce drove her to sell her mother goods from the UAE, such as burqa, dakhon, henna, salt and other household products.

Afra adds that she could not imagine her life without work, namely the sale and purchase she learned from her mother, who is credited with raising her and making her own character. "My mother was everything in my life and she taught me life, work and patience. Real estate, and bought an Arab house, turned it into a small inn next to the market, where the merchants and passengers travel through Dubai for rest and sleep ».

Return from Bahrain

Bint Salem stayed in Bahrain, where she gave birth to all her children, until her husband's illness left him away from work and was separated from life and family affairs. She decided to return to her home to live in a modest house.

Bint Salem gave birth to 5 males and 3 females, including Mrs. Naima, who has spent most of her life with her. Naima tells Emirates Al-Youm important joints in the life of her parents and her family. She says her mother has always aspired to a better life for her children. She said she had turned her house into a dacha for sale as a small grocery store. Al-Anz, after returning from Bahrain.

Continuous work

Naima added that she did the same thing when she moved to their current home in Al Qusais, where she turned the garage into a grocery store where she worked in addition to cooking, preparing folk dishes and banqueting for weddings and weddings, until she managed to take a site for sale in the fish market, Where the profit from the sale in one day in its working days in the nineties to 700 dirhams.

When she moved to her home in Qusais, which was a popular home, she insisted on expanding it into a large house, where her male children were confined even during their first marriage, to ask them to move from a house The family has to rely on themselves and live independently in homes with their wives.

Afra worked most of her career in three locations at the same time: her grocery store in Al Qusais, the fish shop in the fish market, and the cooking he took to areas outside the city to stay for days and nights cooking on occasions. She liked cooking, which she considered an art, intelligence and sense. "I cook from my heart and my soul.

Afra continued to work tirelessly until she succumbed to the disease in a severe blow in 2011, losing her husband due to diabetes, who was neglecting his drugs because of busy work.


Naima is very proud of her mother and her brothers, and she says that she is the one who made them of her own will and personality and insisted on continuing to work and earn a living, until they grew up and relied on themselves thanks to her efforts and fatigue.

She added that her mother lost her health because of her love for work and her insistence on self-reliance in supporting her family and establishing them physically and socially. She added that she is a special character, and she and her brothers have acquired some qualities, but none of them were able to collect all their qualities, skills and property. People are respected.

Human model

The mother of Afra Bint Salem, who did not have the conditions of her childhood to learn how to read and write, was a model of a self-made person who made his life and the lives of others, a model of an Emirati woman of the time of originality, goodness and love. .