The hustle and bustle of Hamriya market has returned albeit after a hiatus of around three months. On Sunday morning, the health isolation of the area came to an end with shopkeepers and residents seen busy cleaning and preparing their shops with a hope of restarting life once again.
Afsar, a daily wage labourer who shares his room with six other people, said, “We were stuck in our room for the last three months and I am confident I will get work soon. I cannot sit idle, I need work. My family depends on me. More than me, they are facing a tough time back home.”
Another daily wage labourer Mohammed, who was seen waiting in Hamriya on the roadside, said that he has been waiting to be hired as a casual labourer since 6am. “Till now no luck, but I am hopeful I may get some work tomorrow. There were times I did not eat for days. I have no money left in my pocket but I am hopeful things would change with this lifting of the lockdown.”
Balan, who runs a photo frame workshop, said that he opened his shop on Sunday morning and started work on his pending orders. “I am hoping to get another order today. We spent the last few months in the most restricted area of Hamriya which was isolated and even barricaded. I stayed motivated by reading books and exercising on our building terrace.”
An upholstery shop worker, Mujeeb said that he waited for this day for months. “Thank God, this lockdown has been lifted and we were allowed to open our shops. More importantly, we were allowed to go out of our rooms, we are hopeful that we will get some business soon.”
When Muscat Daily went out to Hamriya on Sunday morning, Omer Farooq was seen cleaning his shop which sells metal trunks and few barbecue items. He said,
“I am happy I did a little business today after over three months. Our shop was full of sand and dust due to the long shutdown. It seems, I will spend the whole day cleaning the shop, but I am happy that we finally could open. We had the most difficult times of our life. I am thankful to our foreman, he helped us a lot.
Hussain, a heavy equipment supplier for the construction industry, said, “For me, the most difficult part was to sit idle in the room. We are waiting here since morning for some orders but from tomorrow we may get some work.”
“For now, the problem we are facing is that some of our trucks and equipment’s batteries are dead for being left unattended for so long. We have to get these fixed first.”
(Text and Photo – Syed Fasiuddin)
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