“I'm not a millionaire, but I have a happy family,” said Nurgul Rysbekov, 28, who gave up the lights and bustle of Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, for her hometown of Kegen, where she started its first and only 24-hour convenience store – Dako, named after her sister.
Nurgul studied food technology in Almaty, but after working in a chocolate company for six months, she returned home to Kegen, a small town in southeast Kazakhstan near the border with Kyrgyzstan.
That was five years ago. Today, Nurgul and her mother, Zeena, take turns working the night shift in her shop. Her father, Nabi, a poet, helps out during the day. Her brother, Almas, is an assistant judge who eats his lunches with her in a small room next to the shop. During coffee breaks, Nurgul and her father practice shooting.
Nurgul hasn’t taken a holiday since she opened her shop. “The people in the town say ‘well done’ to me when they see my young business,” she said. “I like being busy. In the future I hope to have many businesses and many friends.”
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