Thousands of Syrians find jobs in ‘abandoned sectors’ in Jordan

ZARQA — “Syria will never be the same as it was before the revolution.” Those were the words of Syrian refugee Abdullah Mzayyek, who fled the violence in his country some 10 months ago in pursuit of a safe haven for his family.

Back home, Mzayyek, originally from Aleppo, was a successful car mechanic and painter before he had to abandon his business and flee the violence that was endangering the life of his family. He left his home in the middle of the night accompanied by his wife and two sons.

Received at the border by the Jordan Armed Forces, Mzayyek’s family then travelled to the Bashabsheh compound in the northern city of Ramtha and registered as refugees with the UNHCR. Five days later, Mzayyek left his family behind and escaped from the police-guarded compound alone.

“It was easier for me to leave the complex alone. There was no place for all of us to go even if we succeeded in escaping. I decided to get my family out as soon as I secured a place to stay, with a stable income in Jordan,” Mzayyek explained.

Three months later and with the assistance of his Jordanian work partner, he bailed his family out of the compound to live with him in Zarqa, where he has his own car repair and painting shop, and business is booming.

Mzayyek is one of an estimated 37,000 Syrians who have secured jobs in the Kingdom, according to Labour Ministry figures. However, the refugee insists that his work in Jordan does not undermine unemployed Jordanians’ job opportunities.

“I am contributing to the society’s development process. In my profession, your success depends on your skill and I am a skilled worker,” he said, adding that his business gained local popularity due to the high quality of his work.

Next door to Mzayyek’s shop is a car wash, run by Jordanian businessman Abdullah Mashagbeh,

The employer explained to The Jordan Times that he prefers to hire Syrians in his company as the Jordanians who had previously worked for him had the habit of quitting without notice.

“Syrians are devoted and hard working,” Mashagbeh said. “I do not have any problem hiring anyone as long as they respect their job and do their job efficiently.”

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A Syrian worker washes a car in a gas station in Zarqa on Thursday (Photo by Hani Hazaimeh)

Categories: Arab World, Asia, Jordan, Syria

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