In Lebanon, it’s not common to see a woman standing at a gas station and refueling cars. This was true pre-crisis, and it is more so after it became the norm for gas stations to be a crowded mess with groups brawling on one side while an armed civilian shoots in the air on the other.
Despite the enormous pressure that exists at these stations nowadays, which doubles with the pressure Lebanese society sometimes places on women when it comes to the labor market, Amani Mneimneh recently started working at a gas station in southern Lebanon.
Mneimneh has studied Interior Design and Cosmetology, but finding a job in Lebanon today, let alone one that pays well, be it for graduates, students, or anyone else, has become a very difficult task in the wake of the economic collapse.
However, instead of giving up, she has taken her unfavorable situation and made the best out of it.
“I don’t have a problem working at a gas station and facing many difficulties and problems in exchange for my parents not being in need of anything,” the 22-year-old said in an interview with Hadi Production.
Mneimneh’s positive outlook has not completely relieved her of the anger and negativity that comes with working at a gas station these days, but her disarming, calm approach to dealing with disgruntled customers is proving effective already, less than two weeks into the job.
Armed with “a smile and a nice word,” she makes it a point to employ positive energy to handle stressful periods during her shifts.
Not only is she not embarrassed by what she does, considering the social stigma that comes with being a woman occupying such a job, but Mneimneh emphasized that she is proud of it.
“I invite every young woman and man to go out and work, whatever the job is because there’s no shame in working,” she said in a message to her peers.