Yemeni businesswoman takes a man's job

Published June 28th, 2012 - 09:05 GMT
For Yemeni women today, no job is too male!
For Yemeni women today, no job is too male!

Yemeni businesswoman Aneesa Hussein Mohammed Al-Dhabee is Yemeni is breaking stereotypes. She recently became the manager of a four-star hotel in Sana’a, a job many Yemenis think is exclusively for men.

Al-Dhabee was born in Aden. In 1999, she obtained a bachelor’s in accounting, continuing to participate in many workshops and training courses on auditing and management throughout the next decade.

She started working at the Petroleum Exploration and  Authority (PEPA) in 1993, and she was promoted to head of the Controlling and Inspection Department in May 2000, where she worked for mopre than eight years before being appointed as a consultant for the director of financial affairs in October 2008.

In April, Al-Dhabee was appointed as general manager of controlling and inspection at the Public Land Transportation Authority.

In the private sector, Al-Dhabee became the financial and administrative director of Lamar Hotel, and later became the general manager in July 2011.

Are you happy to be one of the first women to manage a four- star hotel?

Absolutely, I am happy to be one of the first Yemeni women to have such a leadership role, especially the management of such a high-end hotel. Mr. Ali Mohammed Al-Matari gave me the chance to have such a position. He has encouraged, trusted and helped me gain experience through work and daily application. Without a doubt, my successful work in the past three past at this hotel has shown the Yemeni women’s ability to be successful and creative in any field as long as she is encouraged and trusted.

Why did you leave your government position?

Leaving PEPA was a personal choice.  I was promoted to head of the Control and Inspection Department; however, I was relegated to financial consulting for the head of PEPA without justification. They deprived me of my rights. I decided to leave for the private sector to pursue other goals.

I will not forget the encouragement of Saleh Al-Wali, head of the Land Transportation Public Authority. He gave women exceptional opportunities to hold high-ranking positions. I would also like to say “thank you” to the minster of transportation, Dr. Wa’ed Abdallah Batheeb.

I hope President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Al-Hadi and the new government will enable Yemeni women to participate in leading the country.

What do think of the saying, “A great man has a great woman?”

This saying is true. A woman is great just like a man. She has characteristics that make her innovative and creative.

Is a successful working woman a successful housewife? Does her work negatively affect her private life?

A successful woman is among the distinguished in society. A working woman should enjoy her work. She can mix her work and social life by allocating her time well. Of course, this cannot be realized without the support of society. A woman’s success in work reflects on her social success. Her professional success is an indication of her personal success and her strong personality. In my opinion, the success of a woman in her work affects all the aspects of her life. A woman cannot be a success unless she is confident of herself.

Some husbands obstruct the success of their wives under the pretext that a woman’s success will negatively impact family relationships. They deprive them of work opportunities.

What do you think?

It is true that some husbands behave this way. This is due to traditional eastern social norms that play a major role in how men treat women. Men think they are stronger, more intelligent and more productive. They try to hinder women from working so they can continue to dominant society. But, thanks be to God,. many men have changed their attitude toward women. They have come to consider women an important part of society; they help women succeed. Successful work entails the participation of the whole family. Collective efforts must be made to serve family and society.

What type of man helps a woman realize success?

A man confident of his own abilities helps a woman achieve success. He’s proud of the achievements of his female relatives and considers their successes part of the whole family. In order to lead a successful life, we must all take part in supporting eachother’s goals. A successful woman needs a man’s constant support. It will not be forgotten.

A woman’s success: luck or intelligence?

There is no place for luck in a woman’s success. It is intelligence, proficiency and hard work.

Who supported you?

Thanks be to God,  my family and my husband supported and encouraged me to elevate myself educationally and professionally.

Is there a relationship between geography and tourism? What is the importance of tourism in the nation’s economy?

Without doubt, there is a powerful relationship between geography and tourism. Geography is the main reason behind tourism here. The diverse climates of Yemen, its geography, its historical landmarks and its beautiful coasts are the prime attractions foreign tourists look for all over the world.

Currently, tourism is a very important industry. Many nations prioritize its development. It plays a major role in international trade and the national budget. Tourism helps create jobs. It introduces nations and cultures to one another. It builds relationships among people.

What is the relationship between hotels and tourism?

Hotels are the heart of tourism in the developing world. Tourism doesn’t exist without hotels, restaurants and other amenities to provide comfort and stability. The hotel serves as a temporary residence and means of comfort. Therefore, hotels should be well-prepared to make tourists feel comfortable by providing hospitality, cleanliness and quality services. If tourists find all these things, they will come back in the future.

Do you think hotels in Yemen accommodate tourists with all their needs?

I can’t definitively say yes or no; however, I can say there are few hotels that provide the level of service four and five star branches of international hotels do. The rest are suitable for domestic tourists.

Do you think the political situation in Yemen has impacted the tourism sector?

Yes, it has negatively impacted tourism in Yemen. The situation has not only affected tourism; huge financial losses have been experienced in other sectors as well. Yemen’s reputation has also been tarnished from the turmoil, the government and people ought to further efforts to regain tourists’ trust.


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