Restaurateur from Xinjiang makes a difference

Advancing from a stall-keeper to being the boss of a 300-square-meter restaurant, Jumaniaz Roz has grown a successful business, as well as a lovely family, after 30 years of hard work in Wuhan, Hubei province.

Born in 1968 in Hotan, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Jumaniaz Roz moved to Wuhan to make a living in 1988. In 2001, he opened his first barbecue store, selling roast mutton shashlik with his wife, a native of Wuhan. With business booming, they soon rented a larger venue and hired 17 employees to provide Xinjiang cuisine to local residents.

When the pandemic broke out in Wuhan last year, Jumaniaz saw that nearby residents had difficulty getting fresh vegetables and meat. As a restaurant owner, he offered to provide the necessities at a low price. From the end of January to April last year, Jumaniaz and his wife would get up around 4 am, drive 20 kilometers to the market, do the shopping and then distribute the food.

"Jumaniaz is very warm and helpful," said Qiao Fei, party secretary of Wuhan's Tangxin community. "Many residential buildings are not even equipped with an elevator, so he would carry these heavy food items to people door to door."

The bonds with residents grew stronger.

Running a restaurant can produce lots of waste. To express his gratitude, on April 2, Jumaniaz decided to invite four of the sanitation workers who has been working around to his restaurant and have dinner.

Upon finishing working around noon, Shi Fujiao came to Jumaniaz's restaurant. She had roast mutton with Xinjiang crusty pancake, fried noodles and yogurt.

"I usually have noodles for lunch on weekdays. It is very kind of Jumaniaz to invite us to eat here for free," Shi said.

The idea of inviting sanitation workers to have free meals has been developing in Jumaniaz's mind for a long time.

"I have been living here for three decades, and many people helped me in the process. Now my living conditions are improving, so it is time to give back and say thanks," Jumaniaz said.

With his help, about 20 of his acquaintances from Xinjiang also opened restaurants, and more than 200 found jobs in Wuhan.

"I also appreciate the help of the community, which always informs us the latest policies and solves our problems," Jumaniaz said.