The Story of a Supermarket Supervisor in Dubai

“Due to family problems, I couldn’t stay in Egypt so I moved to Beirut and then to Dubai. Currently, I am the supervisor of the AUD supermarket,” says Ehab Yassin, 49, who is an Egyptian national that is married and has four children. UAE, March 1, 2020. Linda Abu Baker.

The American University in Dubai combines people of different professions who come from different backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities. With this diverse group come interesting stories that inspired us to start this initiative, which will allow us to tell the stories of different people who work at AUD. Since the AUD students and workers make up a family, it is our duty to give them a space to tell their stories. Then, the familiar faces we see every day become known more clearly to us, creating a sense of understanding and tolerance between the community on campus. 

On this platform we are specifically interested to find out why these people made the decision to come to Dubai, the obstacles they faced in their lifetime, and if they were given the chance to go back to their home countries, would they take it? 

The hero of our second short podcast and photo essay is Ehab Yassin, the supervisor of the supermarket on campus. We will get to know him better, how he spends his daily life at AUD, and see what challenges he faces as a father, since he left his family back in Egypt. 

“Due to family problems, I couldn’t stay in Egypt so I moved to Beirut and then to Dubai. Currently, I am the supervisor of the AUD supermarket,” says Ehab Yassin, 49, who is an Egyptian national that is married and has four children. UAE, March 1, 2020. Linda Abu Baker.
Yassin prepares sandwiches for the students at AUD’s supermarket, and says, “the students’ youthfulness is what motivated me to stay for this long (17 years) away from my family.” He explains that “their livelihood can make one forget about his concerns and sorrows.” UAE, March 1, 2020. Linda Abu Baker. 

“I’m just like any expat, I try to entertain myself when I am not working, so I go shopping and play chess or football,” Yassin says. UAE, February 27, 2020. Linda Abu Baker. 

Yassin organizes the items on the shelves of AUD’s supermarket and recalls how he moved to Dubai to open the supermarket in 2003, then the shelves were empty and he had to start stocking up and organizing all the products. UAE, March 2, 2020. Linda Abu Baker. 
 “Of course I would go back and stay near my children, wife, and family,” Yassin says to explain why he would go back to Egypt if he was given the chance. However, he continues to perform his main job at AUD’s supermarket and seems to enjoy it. UAE, March 3, 2020. Linda Abu Baker. 

Translated by: Raseel Amro

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