In this video, the first speaker Mohammed Ali Yousef Darwish the owner of Al-Yousef for Trading provided information about trade in the past and what type of goods and suppliers were in Souq Waqif. He also discussed how trade has changed over the years. The second speaker Shams Al-Qasabi, the founder of Shai Al-Shomos, talked about starting her own business serving traditional Qatari food and how she started this enterprise from nothing.
Mohammed Ali Yousef Darwish
The speaker provided information about the trade in the past and how it worked then. He also briefly describes the difference that have occurred between then and the present day.
My name is Mohammed Ali bin Yousef owner of Al-Yousef for Trading.
The company was formed by my father in 1955.
In that time trade was simple, the goods were imported from Bahrain. From Bahrain distributors, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
In the past, the main trade center and food suppliers were in Souq Waqif and in some districts in Doha, like Al-Kahraba street, Al-Sharq district and Musheireb area.
In the 60’s, small supermarkets started to open outside the area of Souq Waqif. It all started there.
Trade was simple as you deliver the goods from your shop to your neighbor shop by your staff. Also in the past, the customers used to come directly to the shop, and either pay by cash or debit.
The situation changed now, and thank God, the trade flourished. The trade spread all around the country and not only in Souq Waqif.
The concept of trade changed when major shopping malls and supermarkets, like Al-Meera & Carrefour, opened.
The range of trade expanded, as in the past the consumer used to take goods directly from us. But now the consumer would go to the directly to the supermarkets that we supply the goods to, based on contracts between us.
This is the difference in trade between past and present, which our father started years ago.
The speaker tells the story of her business of serving Traditional Qatari food and what makes it special to her heart.
I am Shams Al-Qasabi owner and founder of Shai Al-Shomos.
I did not have a school degree, just studied literature for two years.
I had a lemon tree at home and I like to pack them in several jars, and use them to make Pickles and would sell them for QR20.
I made for myself a capital of QR500 from my business, which helped me expand the business.
In the beginning I faced many obstacles. I did not have grinding machines, or any way to expand my trade. I used to take long distance to deliver to customers. Not only for QR20 but to gain customers.
Now there are many competitors. Back then no one was in the spice market except for me.
Foreigners like fresh and healthy Qatari food that does not use oil from supermarkets, or ingredients we do not know of.
We serve eggs, (Looba) and (Balalete) which all of them are natural and freshly cooked just like the old days.
If I was given the treasures of the world I would never introduce any type of food that doesn’t belong to the traditional Qatari food.
All what I serve are 100% Qatari traditional food. I only innovate them. There is no difference except I enhanced them.
I wish that all people could learn for the benefit of Qatar.