Feb 01 2011
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Jordanian truckers steer though trouble in Egypt
The veteran truckers, who transport goods between Egypt and Jordan via the ports of Nuweibeh and Aqaba, said they encountered "traumatic" incidents on their standard three-day journey from Cairo to Nuweibeh.
Trucker Ghassan Saqqar, from Ramtha, said he and his fellow 40 Jordanian truck drivers were robbed by bedouin "outlaws" who had taken over a police station in Suez on the second day of their haul.
The drivers were left without money by the outlaws who "took advantage of the chaotic situation in Egypt and seized control of check points and police stations," he said.
According to Saqqar, resorting to Egyptian authorities in the area was not an option.
"It was impossible to report any incidents to police stations because they have been taken over by outlaws."
In order to survive the ordeal and get their cargo back to Jordan, driver Khaled Dardour said the truckers resorted to borrowing money from friends at gas stations and restaurants they normally frequent along the desert highway from Suez to Nuweibeh.
The 40 truckers and their cargo were at Nuweibeh Port as of Monday evening, waiting for a dawn ferry to take them back to Aqaba.
Despite the hair-raising ordeal, Dardour said the truckers also encountered surprising kindness from strangers, noting that attempts by vandals to attack the port have been foiled by Egyptian citizens who are guarding Nuweibeh in the absence of police.
Asked whether they will get back behind the wheel in Egypt, the truckers said they are more than willing.
"Definitely," Dardour said, "once security is restored".
© Jordan Times 2011
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