In our series this month “Exploring BAM as Justice: Choosing Hope in the Face of Challenge” we’re taking a deep dive into the intersection of faith, business, and complex global realities. We’ll be looking at business as mission’s impact on poverty and justice issues across the globe. In this interview, we have the privilege of hearing from a BAM practitioner in the Middle East.
Malika H and her husband began their tourism company in Türkiye over 20 years ago.
The couple has since fostered not only a highly successful business – bringing in sustainable profits and demonstrating their commitment to the four bottom lines – but also a vibrant and close-knit community within their company.
The couple’s appreciation for life makes them excellent curators of delightful experiences for customers and friends who travel to Türkiye. Having spent time with them in the past, I also witnessed firsthand how they cultivate a culture of genuine joy, optimism, and connection around them.
It hasn’t always been easy. External threats and difficult operating conditions have affected this company in tangible ways. For this series on BAM as Justice, we wanted to share a firsthand perspective of holding onto hope and demonstrating integrity and justice, in the face of challenge.
….and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
1 Thes 4: 11-14
I took a sip of my morning coffee as Malika set up her camera. It was still dark out, my eyes were still adjusting to the bright desk light, and although my questions weren’t as elegantly prepared as I would have liked, I knew that what I would hear from Malika was going to be good.
It was sweet to see her again, even if just over video chat.
I pulled up my notes and started by asking Malika to add some background:
What sort of company is it? Where are they located? How did they start? And how do they navigate operating a business in their region?
Our tourism company is located in Türkiye, which is a very desirable destination on the global travel scene. We don’t usually have to convince people to want to come here, nevertheless, it can be a volatile area.
We started our company several years after 9/11, which set the stage for the reality of what it’s like to run a tourism company in a part of the world that is connected to the Middle East. At that time, all the tourism had dropped, and it was a long process requiring a period of stability and calm to see the industry return.
Since then, we’ve had to ride several waves of ups and downs…