15 April, 2024
Amna overcomes barriers and trains in hospitality with a dream of opening her own restaurant in Upper Egypt

Amna Muhammad is an 18-year-old Egyptian girl. She is currently studying in the third year at the technical high school and, specifically, is specializing in the kitchen department of the hospitality industry, while combining her studies with a job at a café.

“My parents often compared me to my other siblings and always said that I was the one who seemed the least successful. They didn’t even think I was capable of getting into high school,” recalls Amna, who, despite this, decided to defy those expectations and pursue her dream of becoming a chef to work in the tourism sector.

At first, Amna trained on her own, reading hotel cuisine and exploring recipes, discovering her passion for baking. However, during the last academic year, Amna met a fellow student whose preparation and efforts to improve were her motivation. “She was very talented and showed it to the teachers, so the school chefs made her their assistant,” she explains. “I really wanted to be like her, so I asked her what she had done to improve so much and impress everyone.”

This conversation marked a turning point in her life. Amna decided to continue studying and practicing and applied, then, for a cooking course at the Abu Korkas Hotel Training Center, following in her partner’s footsteps: “I was lucky enough to be selected for the training which started at the beginning of 2024”.

This training course is one of the actions developed within the framework of the agreement we are implementing in Upper Egypt together with the CIDEAL Foundation, in collaboration with our local partners AUEED, Enroot and KEF, and with the financial support of AECID, to promote sustainable economic and social alternatives based on tourism in this region.

Precisely, one of the specific objectives of this agreement is to promote training and employment opportunities in the tourism sector for women and young people through secondary technical schools in the hospitality industry, thus enabling them to acquire professional skills that will allow them to access the labor market and achieve economic independence.

Thanks to this training program, Amna is acquiring important theoretical knowledge about cooking that she did not know before and also about baking, her favorite area, and admits “with study and practice I am becoming very good at it.” She has also achieved a promotion and, consequently, a salary increase in her job.

Once she finishes the course, Amna dreams of opening her own restaurant, including a cafeteria: “I would like to focus on my own project. This has been my dream for a long time, to be proud of myself and to make my family proud of me,” she says excitedly.

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