Municipality bulldozer smashes cart of breadwinner, drawing fire

The Greater Amman Municipality building in Amman. (Photo: Petra)
The Greater Amman Municipality building in Amman. (Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — Activists on social media reacted with anger as a video circulated purportedly showing a bulldozer smashing a cart used by a young  man to collect and sell cardboard boxes at the Central Green Market in south Amman.اضافة اعلان

 Amman Mayor Youssef Al-Shawarbeh “took action” by removing the director of market, Anas Mahadeen, and transferring him to the post of depurty city manager at the headquarters of Amman Greater Municipality (GAM), and replacing him with another official, according to an official letter seen by Jordan News, a decision that was perceived by the public as a “promotion” rather than a penalty.

GAM spokesperson, Nasser Al-Rahamneh, said that immediately after municipal officials saw the video, which initially identified the street vendor mistakingly as a vegetable and fruit vendor, the mayor took action “because it was an unacceptable conduct” on the part of the market municipal managers. The right measure was to confidcate the cart, he said, noting that GAM “deals with street vendors from a humanitarian perspective.”

Jordan News contacted the vendor, Osama Abu Sbeitan, 21, who is an Arabic student at Al-Balqaa Applied University. He collects the cardboards and sells them, and at the same time, he gathers the vegetable and fruit waste for three sheep the family keeps at home and benefits from their milk to feed 11 members.

The cart, which was in the parking lot of the central market, was the only source of income for the Abu Sbeitans, who live in Khreibet Al-Souq, the same area where the GAM-run green market is located.

Osama told Jordan News over the phone that he was away for minutes to get some tea, and he came back and found that the source of his and his family’s livelihood was crushed by the bulldozer.

“I wept, unable to speak when I saw it. My father has worked on this same cart for 16 years.”

What added insult to injury is that at the time he was watching the fate of his cart, municipal officials were laughing and joking about it, the young Abu Sbeitan said.

Earlier in the day, he wrote on his Facebook page: “I am a good writer and a book worm. Today I was speechless.”

Read more National