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HS Schoch


TRUCKS IN JORDAN

Drivers may be working or waiting in the Hashemite Kingdom

We are driving east of the busy proliferate capitol on the highway dividing the flat desert and connecting Amman with Al Azraq, then winding on either to Iraq or Saudi Arabia. After roughly one hour driving one of a million desert roads starts just besides the asphalt. Tracks crossing the deserts like fragile venes, no signs mark the way. You have to know which is the right track, otherwise you better stay back in civilisation. After a couple of dusty, stony, hot kilometers you figure out a few containers and trucks, hard to focus in the shimmering heat of the desert. This is one of the places where Khalid Kesseseh and his colleagues Ferhan Tormen and Achmed Noimeh may be working. They are employess of Josco, a jordan subsidary of the Shell company. Josco is exploring and exploiting the layers of oil shale some fivehundred meters below the deserted surface. The trio is working on new Mercedes-Benz trucks imported from Germany. Their jobs are paid comparatively good, although if asking them they may express that it could be more what will be transferred to their bank accounts at the end of the month. Especially Khalid has some need for money as back home in Irbid seven children have to be brought up.

Another life of a truck driver can be seen in the outskirts of Amman. On the opposite side of the customs yard some drivers have parked their fairly old veterans - Mercedes SK, heavily scarred from years on the roads in Europe and the Middle East. The trucks carry license plates from Lebanon, the drivers come from the Lebanon or Syria - the Syrian people are regarded as a cheap labour force. The chauffeurs sit in the shadow of the trailers, busy with cooking, enjoying tea, coffee or a water pipe. "Sometimes we have to wait for a week to get a well paid load back home," they say. Nothing is sure in the life of those people, it's all in the hand of Allah!

for the whole story contact: Richard Kienberger

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