Saudi mother turns passion for coffee trees into family business

Saudi mother turns passion for coffee trees into family business
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Al-Maliki’s skills have been picked up by her eight daughters who now help run the family’s farming business. (Supplied)
Saudi mother turns passion for coffee trees into family business
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Saudi mother turns passion for coffee trees into family business
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Photo/Supplied
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Updated 07 November 2020

Saudi mother turns passion for coffee trees into family business

Saudi mother turns passion for coffee trees into family business
  • The international boom in demand for the coffee has helped to boost the local economy and many farms have grown to become large-scale manufacturing operations

MAKKAH: A 75-year-old Saudi mom has turned her lifelong passion for growing Khawlani coffee trees into a family business venture.
Jamilah Salem Al-Maliki has been nurturing the trees on her land in the Kingdom’s Jazan region for decades, following traditional practices passed down through generations of farmers.
Khawlani coffee beans have been cultivated in the region’s rich soils for hundreds of years and are considered to be some of the finest in the world.
And Al-Maliki’s skills have been picked up by her eight daughters who now help run the family’s farming business.
Every morning after dawn, the women lovingly tend to more than 300 trees growing on their village plots.
Similar to many coffee farmers in Jazan, Al-Maliki learned the trade from a young age by watching others and through hands-on practical experience.
And despite her age, she still ploughs the land, trims leaves, harvests the beans, and dehydrates them before selling to market.
A native of Al-Dayer Bani Malek province, Al-Maliki has become something of a local legend in the Kingdom’s southern coffee-growing community.
Her relationship with the trees stems from a feeling of natural belonging to the area where her family roots go back through several generations. Over the years, she has steadily expanded the farm and now owns eight plantations dedicated to growing her favorite trees.

In the past, it was shameful to trade the coffee tree beans and instead they were presented as gifts to relatives and guests visiting from outside the area, a local tradition and custom.

Jamilah Salem Al-Maliki

Al-Maliki told Arab News that she considered the coffee tree to be “sacred” and would do anything possible to protect them.
Her family had originally only used the farm’s produce for domestic consumption and to share with relatives and friends in the village.
“In the past, it was shameful to trade the coffee tree beans and instead they were presented as gifts to relatives and guests visiting from outside the area, a local tradition and custom,” she said.
“However, Khawlani coffee beans have now become a product consumed globally.” The international boom in demand for the coffee has helped to boost the local economy and many farms have grown to become large-scale manufacturing operations.
Al-Maliki said she fully intended to continue developing her agricultural talent. “I want to have the most accurate information that ensures caring for the coffee tree and learning ways to protect it,” she added.
The provincial branch of the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture runs courses and workshops to help farmers hone their techniques and Al-Maliki hopes to attend sessions in the future. By increasing her skills and knowledge she also aims to compete for prize money worth SR3 million ($800,000) in a Jazan business awards scheme. Al-Maliki’s farm is open to visitors who can watch age-old agricultural activities being carried out using traditional tools.


Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details. (shutterstock)
Updated 18 January 2021

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
  • The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers

JEDDAH: Fraudsters have developed a new scam, contacting residents in Saudi Arabia and pretending to be bank staffers requesting customer details.
A number of Arab News staff have received such calls in recent weeks. One caller spoke Urdu while two other callers posing as senior officials from the headquarters of the bank spoke in English and Arabic with a local accent.
They used phone numbers that appeared to be local numbers but upon calling back, the lines failed to connect.
The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.
Speaking to Arab News, Talat Zaki Hafiz, secretary-general of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee of Saudi banks, said: “Saudi banks represented by the Media and Banking Awareness Committee have repeatedly warned bank customers not to react to stray phone calls of any kind coming from unknown sources that ask to update their banking record or personal information.” He further confirmed that banks do not request such information through phone calls or SMS messages.
Mohammed Khurram Khan, a professor of cybersecurity at the King Saud University in Riyadh, told Arab News: “Phishing, an online scam which targets users through emails where individuals are encouraged to click on a link that takes them to fraudulent sites, was troubling people. Now it’s a different kind of scam known as ‘vishing,’ over-the-phone phishing, where scammers persuade users to share their banking information by impersonating a bank official.”

HIGHLIGHT

The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.

Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details.
Sharing his experience Zafar Hasan, an e-learning consultant in Riyadh, said: “I received a call from someone on an unknown mobile number who introduced himself as a bank employee and told me that my ATM card was going to be blocked. It required an immediate update so I should give my Iqama number (residence permit number) and sixteen-digit ATM card number. I felt something was fishy, so I told him that I would go personally to the bank to update the card.”
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers.
SAMA called on bank customers to take information only from the official channels of the bodies regulating the Kingdom’s financial and investment sectors and inform the competent security authorities about such fraudulent attempts.