Tuesday, August 4, 2009

And Still They Run These Taxis

By Eva Bartlett

"GAZA CITY, Aug 3 (IPS) - Salleh wonders how he will pay for a replacement car part he bought from the tunnels black market......

The father of five drives one of Gaza's many run-down taxis, working round the clock but earning just enough to get by. "I work day and night, but only for 20 shekels (five dollars), or sometimes 50 shekels (12 dollars) per day. That's only enough to buy food and cover my children's needs."

Salleh lists the other expenses his meagre salary will not cover: "I can't afford a licence or car insurance, they're very expensive. I've gone four years without them. If I have an accident, I could go to jail for not having the licence on insurance."......

If he had the choice, Nabil says he'd take any type of employment. "I just want to work without problems with police, like in construction. Work like anyone else."

Taxi drivers in Gaza, many of whose former professions are no longer possible, can either wait for the day when borders open, or make do with the cars they have, such as they are. "

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