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Diaspo #180 : Hassania Bouamama, from housekeeper to international truck driver

After five years of living in an irregular situation in Spain, Moroccan Hassania Bouamama managed to build herself a name in the field of international transport. She is the owner of an international logistics company and a heavy truck driver.

Hassania Bouamama. / DR
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Driving trucks for long distances is often perceived as a man's job, but 43-year-old Moroccan based in Spain Hassania Bouamama decided to challenge this stereotype and prove that women can overcome difficulties and pave the way to success.

The journey of the Moroccan woman was not an easy one. Speaking to Yabiladi, Hassania believes that those who say women can only do easy jobs are wrong, and that the matter is nothing more than a wrong perception.

Hassania was born in El Aioun, a small town near the city of Oujda, and upon reaching the age of six, she moved with her parents to the city Laayoune, in southern Morocco. There, she graduated high school and chose to pursue her studies in computer sciences.

The young woman dreamed of pursuing her studies abroad. In 2000, she decided to leave the country and cross to Spain irregularly. She remained in Spain without residency papers for five years.

Overcoming hardships

Those five years were significant to her as she went through very challenging times. «It was the most difficult chapter of my life. In the beginning, I spent a year and a half in Murcia, I went to a university to pursue my studies, but I was not accepted, due to my irregular status so I ended up working in a shop; selling pizza», she recalled.

«I wasbeing exploited most of the time due to my residence situation and also because I was a girl, alone in a country that was not mine. I was working for little money compared to other people who had their legal status figured out. There was constant harrassment, but I was able to face it».

Hassania Bouamama

Faced with financial difficulties, Hassania rented a room inside a house, and sometimes her family had to send her money from Morocco.

A year later, she moved to Tarragona, where she worked as a housekeeper for a Spanish family. In 2005, Hassania started to see light at the end of the tunnel, especially after her legal status was settled.

Three years later, she married a Spanish citizen and started a career that she had never dreamed of. Her husband owned a truck dedicated to international transportation of goods, and she used to accompany him from time to time, and due to her admiration for her husband's adventures, she decided to start her own adventure, in national and international transport as well. In 2010, she was able to establish her own logistics company.

«I own my own truck and at first I started working with my husband as his assistant. I did not have a driving license but I helped him change wheels, do maintenance work and so on, and I used to accompany him on every business trip from country to country».

Hassania Bouamama

In 2016, her husband got a job offer to transport goods from Morocco to France. «I traveled with him to Morocco, but upon our arrival, the customs authorities in the Kingdom prevented me from making the crossing», she recalled. «They asked me to get off the truck and cross the pedestrian lane and a customs official man told me : You are not a truck driver, and although you are the owner of the truck, only your husband has the right to go through this crossing».

Driving on the path to success 

These words were enough to encourage Hassania to get a truck driver’s license upon her return to Spain. Indeed, she first obtained a C driver’s license then an E driver's license for truck driving. «I was very happy, especially as my husband was surprised and proud of me because I got the licenses so quickly. I felt proud to be a Moroccan woman».

In 2017, Hassania's adventure actually took off, and she moved from helping her husband as an assistant to become a truck driver who was also licensed to drive. «I drove a heavyweight truck and transported the goods from Tarragona, Spain to Perpignan, France. I had so many feelings, it was an unforgettable moment».

«I receive encouragementon the road, especially in Spain and in Europe in general, but unfortunately not in Morocco. When I arrive in the truck in my country I see these strange looks, and I receive comments saying that I am working in a profession for men, and sometimes I am told that my place is in the kitchen and not behind the wheel. While I must admit that all these comments hurt me, they motivate me too».

Hassania Bouamama

Hassania does not lose hope and benefits from the encouragement of her own family. Indeed, she believes that «[her] late father would have been proud of me. He used to ask me when I was young about my dream. I used to tell him I wanted to drive a big truck, and in turn my mother feels proud of me because I achieved my dream».

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