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A surprised minister, inspired by a Saudi trainee waiter who serves him in Geneva

MAKKAH: Trade Minister Dr Majid Al-Qasabi was having a meal at an upmarket restaurant in Geneva last Saturday when he was pleasantly surprised to have a Saudi tourism student working as a waiter at his service, prompting him to post a message on Twitter praising the young man for his initiative and dedication.

Al-Qasabi wrote on his Twitter account: “We are proud of our Saudi youth and (as they are) excelling everywhere. I met our son Abdul Rahman Basra, who was sent on a scholarship to study tourism and hospitality in Switzerland, and who is doing his on-the-job training in one of Geneva’s fanciest restaurants… Determination of our youth is great to build our dear country.”

Basra, from Medina, told Arab News that he worked at Lou One, a Chinese restaurant, as part of his training in Switzerland.

“After finishing high school in Medina in 2016, I moved to Canada to study English. Afterwards, I came back to Saudi Arabia and (waited) for a scholarship in tourism which always fascinated me. . »

He said that because he grew up in Medina, he got used to meeting people from all over the world. This had inspired him to seek work in the tourism industry. “This passion grew when I was studying in Canada.

While in Canada, Basra said he constantly met people from all corners of the globe. “(E)everyone was excited about… the places they visited except Saudi Arabia, which made me wish (that) Saudi Arabia (was considered) a tourist attraction international.”

He said the Kingdom was unique in several ways, including the hospitality of its people and its rich history. Moreover, the country is considered the center of Islam.

Saudi Trade Minister Dr Majid Al-Qasabi, left, with Abdul Rahman Basra, who is studying tourism in Geneva. (Provided)

When he returned from Canada to Saudi Arabia, he spent nine months waiting for a Tourism Excellence Scholarship from the Ministry of Education. He commended the government for creating these kinds of opportunities for young people.

Studying tourism in Switzerland has always been Basra’s dream: “The best and most prestigious universities are there.

He said he studied at the International School of Hotel Management Les Roches, the third most prestigious university in the world in the field of tourism and hospitality. It is part of the institution’s requirements to have students working as waiters, he said.

It was difficult to study in Switzerland because hotels require fluency in French. However, he was lucky that the servers, unlike the chefs, were not required to speak the language.

He said Qasabi was very happy to learn that he was a Saudi in training in Geneva.

“The Chinese restaurant Lou One is one of the best… in Geneva… When he asked me my nationality, I saw a smile, and he began to motivate and advise me. He appreciated and admired my work.

Basra said he plans to return to Saudi Arabia to help develop the tourism industry.

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