For Yemenis in the southwestern city of Taiz, Anwar al-Shomairi may seem like a major businessman or rich investor because of his generosity. The truth is that the 46-year-old Dearborn resident is a humble, but giving and industrious fellow, who works three jobs to take care of his family and make a difference in his homeland.
The Yemeni American News
Anwar starts his day with a shift at a Dearborn grocery shop. He also works at a restaurant in the afternoon and ends his evening working at wedding hall. His typical day starts at 6 in the morning and ends it at 10 at night – that’s 16 hours of work daily.
Asked why he puts in all this effort, Anwar told the Yemeni American News: “Thanks god. I have the good health and the strength to do it.”
Anwar, however, does not work for the sake of work or even money. He is committed to helping the people around him and bringing happiness to others. He distributes his earnings between the needs of his family and sponsoring sporting events in his hometown of Taiz, Yemen.
His dream is not to own a fancy car or stacking up money, he says. What brings him happiness is to give back to his family and assisting the people of his hometown.
In fact, Anwar does not even own a car. The reason? He says all of his jobs are near each other and close to where he live, so he doesn’t feel like he needs a vehicle. While living without a car in Michigan may seem impossible, Anwar’s devotion to his work and family makes it sound easy. He has foregone buying a car because his father, an early immigrant who was a Chrysler employee, never owned one.
In a city that has been particularly devastated by the ongoing war, sport can represent hope, and that’s where Anwar is investing.
“I was an athlete – a table tennis player myself – I love athletes, and I cannot ignore this simple role that I can play to help the people in my hometown,” he says.
Anwar added that he feels obliged to help people in need, especially families of deceased athletes.
He moved to the United States in 1999, but his family, including three children, remained in Taiz. But he has not seen them since the unrest started in Yemen after the Arab Spring uprising in 2011. He has filed an immigration petition for them and remains waiting for their visas.
Anwar is known for his commitment and hard work.
“He has been working here for two years, and I have trusted him since day one because of his dedication and work ethics,” Samer Abu Akhdar, the owner of Sarai Palace banquet hall said of Anwar.