Spirit of the People is reshaping the popular market in the Ras Al-Ain region

 Amman, which operates on Thursday and Friday every week. The market inherited a major part of the famous Abdali market stalls, which was established in 1984 under the name “Monday Market” for years, before it turned into “Friday Market”. The transfer of the market from Abdali to Ras Al-Ain was compulsory at the end of 2014, but it actually began work at the beginning of the following year 2015, and after the transportation process, a collision occurred between the security forces and the owners of the stairs and their workers.

At the time of the deportation, the number of employees decreased because the Abdali Market area reached about 34 dunums in its last stages, compared to eight dunums in the new market. It is a sales unit and one seller may own several furniture or rent some of them.

The Abdali Market was established with a small irregular area at the bottom of the Abdali Complex, and it consisted of about 200 licensed stands, then was licensed to other stalls that remained within the “hundreds” with the expansion of the market, until it reached its peak after canceling the transmission lines from the Abdali Complex and transporting it to a compound North in the Tariq region in 2006/07.

And with every new expansion, the Abdali Market accommodated more rugs, and in its last years began to diversify and organize more in the nature of the commodities offered for sale. It started as a market for used clothes and shoes, then it became a market for vegetables, household appliances, stationery, hand tools, etc. 

When the market migration crisis arose in 2014, the Municipality of Amman accepted the discussion with the registered original stall holders, initially identifying locations for around 450 rugs and then increasing the number to 520.

By examining the aspects of self-regulation that have taken place in this market over the past years, this article seeks to showcase the high flexibility in the informal labor sector, which allows it to respond smoothly to urban and administrative changes, and to accurately invest all the capabilities and resources available, and to achieve the maximum feasibility Economic project for a small business, by accurately calculating the cost and benefit. 

Bad start

The new place was directed at absolute rejection by the owners of the stairs, and numerous meetings were held between the Municipality of Amman and the owners of the Abdali stalls, and the Municipality of Amman defended its position by saying that it was about to establish a “civilized” popular market with high-level specifications and standards that matched the specifications applied in the world.

The Municipality of Amman renewed the construction and painting of the wall of the new area, and made two entrances for it, and the square was paved, then divided by yellow lines into units, the area of ​​each of them is about six square meters, and made corridors between them, then placed in each unit wooden brushes measuring two square meters with a wooden look wrapped in cloth green. They left empty spaces, the stairs were removed from the walls, and the vendors were informed that they should not use the same walls that were decorated with drawings and slogans about the city, its beauty and cleanliness

 fragility of the community of the owners of the stands and the high individualism that characterizes the sector, and the weak size of the authority they hold, so the sellers gradually respond after achieving some additional demands.

The market continued without sellers and almost without buyers for weeks, then actual work began hesitantly, and sellers had to get to know new customers, as Abdali customers did not immediately join the new site, as they had to deal with a new space and with a new movement of customers, which is what Attention is required in order to determine the nature of their responses to the maximum benefit.

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This image was taken about three months after starting work in the market . The market had completely changed, the light umbrellas wrapped in fabric were removed, and the umbrellas of the solid orange shader used in Abdali were replaced by sellers, who brought the metal lists they used to build and quickly erected, tightened their gaskets over and around them, and the pathways were re-created to suit the related parties. And, the Secretariat has surrendered to the planning and design process and sees its usefulness in bringing customers 

The work of the sellers extended to all the empty spaces, including the main entrance, the various goods were spread on the walls, and new random stalls were established, and there were sites in the market  specialized in providing the cafeteria service.

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picture was taken last Friday, July 26, 2019, that is, about five years after the start of work, it has covered the entire market more in a coordinated manner with a strong white cloth mattress, declaring the market is complete!

The secretariat had initially allowed workers to bring their goods on Thursday evening, provided that the market would operate throughout Friday until Saturday noon, and at a later stage, workers would bring their goods from Thursday morning, and they would continue to work until Friday evening. The market was also operating at the beginning for specific hours, but in a later period sellers began to leave their goods after appointing a number of “alternates” as night watch after the market was empty of customers.

Currently, the organization of the place is complete, and it is operating around the clock. I came to the market at ten in the evening on Thursday and left at two in the morning, and customers were still coming to the market, some in the form of families, and the calls of the sellers were heard all over the market.

Workers divide the work time into three sections, and work alternately, but for long hours of up to 24 hours each, out of 36 hours. For workers who do not own the stairs, they are paid two days’ wages.

This general flexibility faces some obstacles, including the fact that the opposite market square, which used to use free parking, was removed due to the Express Bus Project, which made the presence of many more difficult. The collapse of the main wall of the market in the winter of 2018, and the death of one person and the injury of others, led to the stagnation of the market for a period of time. The market was also affected, according to workers, by the stagnation of general trade in the country. 

This market flexibility comes from the flexibility that characterizes the informal sector as a whole. For example, most workers in this market will move from the next morning, that is, on Saturday, to other markets or to other locations in the informal work. They have accumulated long experience over the years, says a young man who is now twenty years old, that he started working from the age of seven with the same “teacher” who specializes in imported second-hand shoes, and explains that he was initially working in cleaning, arranging and stuffing shoes to restore their strength, before To go to the market as a seller, he receives 15 dinars in a market such as the Friday market, where work is difficult, while he receives 10 dinars in other popular markets that need less work time such as the Zizia market or the Sahab.

A comfortable and safe atmosphere prevails in the market, and the general manifestations of the clients indicate that many of them are of medium or upper levels sometimes, and there are a large number of foreigners, and in the days of gathering the clients from domestic workers. 

The appearances of humor permeate the course of the sale, especially through the calls that the sellers compete to compose, with the sometimes “softness” they contain here and there. A boy, perhaps as young as ten, was calling out for his goods, saying: “We sell at a loss and we taught them the trade.” And when his  shouting was heard after midnight, it caused a great deal of laughter and joy

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