Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Summaga Café paves new paths for women in Ajloun

Nusaiba Al Momani, head of Al Kifah Cooperative Society, received approval in 2015 from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to run a restaurant at the Ajloun Castle Visitor Center.

Back then, women in Ajloun were generally discouraged from entering the tourism sector. But Nusaiba did it anyway, recruiting with her Umaima Al Momani, who was a 21-year-old college student at the time. The two of them worked together to run Summaga Café, which got its name from sumac, Jordan’s beloved red spice.

“People used to think it’s disgraceful for women to work in restaurants,” said Umaima, who worked her way up to become manager of the cafe. “But we overcame this culture of shame.”

“Summaga inspired other places in Ajloun to start hiring women!” added Nusaiba.

The restaurant offers local dishes made with ingredients straight from 25 Ajloun farms that are part of Al-Kifah. This benefits around 41 families in the area. Their organic products include labaneh, jams and preserves, herbs, spices, honey and greens.

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