Words & Multimedia By: Naseem Tarawnah
Some of the most remarkable scenes have emerged on the streets of Amman these past 48 hours. Word that gas stations were refusing to sell their fuel supplies began to spread on Saturday and gained momentum as the work week began Sunday morning. By 5pm drive-home traffic time, some of Amman’s street were packed with what felt like thousands of cars, all lining up for a chance to fill up. Stations have been at odds with the government after the latter decided to reduce fuel prices for the sixth time since August. Having bought their fuel at a higher price and forced to sell at a new and reduced price, many stations have shut down in protest, while at least 17 others have gone bankrupt. Police forces have descended upon every gas station open for business to help allay any possible violent outbursts, while managing the long queues, some of which stretch for well over 1km. Asking a few motorists who were waiting as patiently as the circumstance allowed, some told me they had been in line for over an hour, hardly moving a few meters in the direction of the gas station’s entrance. Meanwhile, sirens could readily be heard, blazing across the city, as I sighted at least one oil tanker swooping past the airport road highway with what seemed to be a police escort.