The ‘Abey Khao’, which interprets to “Eat Guys” food truck is Pakistan’s first portable restaurant manned entirely by deaf staff, giving an economic opportunity for them.
‘Abey Khao’ is the bright yellow truck having a logo of a pair of spectacles hovering over a deluxe mustache that looks like many other food trucks appealing to hungry students at a college in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.
At the time of giving their order, the students start gesturing with their hands, representing this is not an ordinary food truck.
As per the details, the ‘Abey Khao’ food truck is the brainchild of a hearing-disabled family, having both parents and their two sons who are either totally or partially deaf. Nevertheless, daughter Ayesha Raza can listen and she proposed the idea for ‘Abey Khao’ to give opportunities for her brothers.
“The majority of the deaf youth is unemployed in Pakistan, and they face issues like language barriers, inequality, and discrimination,” she said. “At Abey Khao, customers embrace the deaf culture and place their orders in sign language.”
“With diagrams showing how to say simple phrases in sign language, the food truck is not only providing employment but helping to bridge communication gaps between deaf people and the hearing community,” she said.
Moreover, Sheikh Faizan, Ayesha’s brother, using sign language, said, “We should create our own path through entrepreneurship, no matter how small it is, because we value our dignity as independent living beings more than anything else.”
The food truck is parked on the campus of Millennium Universal College, students come for sizzling meat sandwiches and French fries, giving their orders with their hands.
After enjoying the meaty meal, student Misal Shahzad said, “Normally, whenever we meet anyone who is deaf, we don’t know how to communicate with them. They have placed a cue card here in front of their van which is very helpful for everyone when we want to place an order.”