Since her childhood, Balqees Bani Hani has been fascinated with vehicles and their internal ins and outs. Her wildest dream, which came true, was that one day, she would break the taboos and open the first female-run garage in Jordan.
Balqees said it is not only her passion that encouraged her to initiate her business, but also the many challenges faced by female drivers who head to the all-male craftsman zones to have their vehicles repaired, where they usually do not feel comfortable.
In November 2017, Balqees opened her garage near Irbid's industrial area in a step that she stressed "did not aim to challenge society or the local community".
“Many people told me that I challenged society. I do not feel like I did so because society was not opposed to my idea. My parents were my first supporters and my father praised my decision as well,” she said.
Balqees said that she provides car repair services only for women drivers.
“Many women avoid buying old cars because they fear that it will need a lot of care and they will be forced to visit the craftsman zones frequently. But, at the same time, they cannot afford to buy modern cars. Now that this garage is open, they should not be worried about the type of car they purchase,” she said.
Although she studied banking and finance at university, the 34-year-old said she did not want to be forced to work only in one field.
“I attended a six-month car mechanic course. I know that it is not enough but I believe that I will keep learning and gain new experience,” she said.
The mother of two noted that men working in the same field have commended her idea as well.
“Any woman who wants to initiate a new idea should not feel concerned about the perceptions of society. On the contrary, our local community is open to new ideas compared to the past,” she concluded.