The Dawoodi Bohras Middle East

From a young age, Munira Lakdawala had dreamt of becoming a doctor. This aspiration was fueled by the way her parents had raised her: to be faithful, compassionate and helpful to all. But destiny had other plans in store.

Before Munira could complete her medical degree, her mother passed away while giving birth to her youngest child. Devastated and shocked by this tragedy, she was forced to leave her dreams behind to take care of her family. She eventually married a loving husband, but after less than two years, he too tragically passed away. A young widow with a 7 month-old-daughter faced an uncertain future. 

With time, she moved on and married Yusuf Lakdawala, a man who shared her strong faith and conviction. She went about assisting her husband in managing his catering business and seemed to find some respite. 

But that didn’t spell the end of her trials. Her husband suffered an acute paralysis attack followed by a heart attack, leaving him unable to walk. Burdened with debt, the responsibility of his catering business suddenly rested on her shoulders and she found herself struggling to cope. Given the dire circumstances, selling off the business and resettling in India would have been the easier option, but Munira held her ground and decided to stay in Dubai to manage the business herself. 

Her strong faith and deeply held beliefs helped her move on and handle all aspects of the business – from procurement to finance to marketing. The support she found from the Government of Dubai, her Emirati sponsors and fellow Bohra community members had to contend with those who cast shadows of doubt, suggesting that she leave her sick husband and remarry. Munira was undeterred: she stood by her husband’s side. She would say that the same sickness could easily have befallen her too.

What would she then think of him if he had abandoned her like that?
Munira’s resolve helped her not only to overcome the challenges life has thrown her way, but to take her husband’s business to even greater heights. Her efficient management skills has resulted in the exponential growth of ‘Jafanat Catering’. Known fondly by her family, friends and supporters as Munira Jafanat, her innovative style and quality service have made her a household name among her clients.

Adversity struck at multiple junctures of her life, but she rose to the occasion every time. Her loyalty and perseverance bore sweet fruit as she found stability and acceptance despite the series of unfortunate events that unfolded in her life. Today, Munira looks back and takes pride in her determination and resolve, as a mother, a wife and an entrepreneur.