MUSCAT: Mohammed Feroz has been running a tailoring shop in Ruwi for the last 12 years and for the first time his business has been significantly affected due to the coronavirus outbreak. His once crowded shop inside Ruwi Souq is now empty.
“I have never seen an Eid without business,” he said while sitting in his shop looking for a customer.
“Last year, during this time I was in my shop, busy making Eid outfits,” he recalled.
There was complete dismay in his eyes. He broke the silence with extreme sadness in his voice. “This year, I have nothing. Hardly five customers came to stitch their Eid dress,” he said
The coronavirus pandemic had caused almost all businesses including tailoring shops to shutdown since March forcing Feroz to close down his only source of income. Only in early July, the authorities allowed tailoring shops to reopen.
“I lived for four months with the help of friends. I borrowed money to pay my rents. I was happy when the authorities allowed us to open the shops thinking I will get some business ahead of Eid to cover my losses but then here I am sitting empty,” he said as his eyes welled up with tears.
Oman has banned all Eid gatherings due to the rise in coronavirus cases. “So most of the people prefer to have a low-key Eid this time,” Feroz said.
According to Feroz, the tailoring business does not bloom all year round. “The peak season is during Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha. During Ramadan we are very busy because that’s when most people buy and stitch their outfits,” he said.
With his family back in Pakistan, Feroz borrowed money from his friends to his children Eidiya (token gift of cash). “I have two kids and I don’t want them to feel bad. I have some good friends and I am really thankful to Allah for that,” Feroz said.
Feroz keeps a slim chance of hope in rebounding his business. “I had two tailors whom I had to send back because the shops were shut for nearly three months and I couldn’t afford their salaries. So I am running on my own but I hope life will be back to normal,” he added.
The pandemic has brought many lives to a standstill but most of them are keeping hopes that life will be back to normal in the near future.