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Extensive before whiteboards, beamers and laptops entered modern-day faculty lecture rooms, lecturers relied on the humble, dusty, occasionally screechy blackboard chalk — a materials that has produced a Jordanian business enterprise achievements tale.
Chemical engineer Salah Aloqbi remembers sitting on a bus in Amman in 1995 when he strike on the notion that would direct him to develop his company. A lot more than two decades later on it offers 150 team, with exports to extra than 100 nations around the world.
Chalk, a white, gentle limestone, was formed aeons in the past when the shells of very small maritime creatures were compressed on the sea flooring — and the landlocked Center Jap desert country of Jordan is blessed with wide deposits.
“It was a video game-modifying plan,” recalled Aloqbi, now 49, who established the Jordan Chalk Manufacturing Corporation.
“I was returning from function at the Jordan Carbonate Organization when I read a radio job interview stating that the calcium carbonate developed by the firm is employed in a variety of industries in Jordan — except the chalk sector.”
Aloqbi pondered how to make blackboard chalk, which was until then wholly imported, to achieve more worth from the calcium carbonate that is also applied to deliver white cement, make soils significantly less acidic, and toothpaste additional abrasive.
Seven years afterwards, he released a smaller factory in Karak governorate south of Amman, with two rooms and just five personnel, and started off experimenting — in the beginning by pulverising the porous product with a meat mincer.
“But the chalk that we made at that time was no for a longer time used all around the earth, so we moved to create dustless health-related chalk,” he stated, referring to a carbonate-based style with larger particles.
Some 2,149 attempts afterwards, the businessman mentioned proudly, he hit the appropriate system for dustless chalk, developing a “quite solid export prospect” that now sees his organization create 10 billion items a 12 months.
Jordan has a near infinite source of the raw product, with the ministry of energy and mineral methods estimating the country’s “property of limestone exceed 1.3 billion metric tons”.
Limestone is the widespread sort of calcium carbonate CaCO3, the primary component for chalk.
“It arrives to intellect that this is an outdated solution, but the truth is that we are battling to satisfy the fantastic demand,” Aloqbi reported as he inspected hundreds of cartons heading to Britain and Germany, Mali and Morocco.
The chalk items occur in a vast palette of colors and are used for art and enjoy about the earth.
The company has also branched out into coloured crayons and modelling clay, and is the country’s only producer of chalk sticks.
Currently, the organization sits on a 7,500 square metre plot and features sought-right after positions in a nation wherever the unemployment amount soared to 25 p.c very last calendar year, about the identical as the poverty price.
“Most of us are from villages in Karak governorate,” stated one personnel, 28-12 months-aged Sundus Majali. “A lot more than half of the staff are girls.”
At initially, she reported, “it was challenging for parents to make it possible for ladies to work … But currently they have no issue with that, especially simply because the factory is safe and sound, not like other workplaces.”
A further colleague, Alaa Aloqbi, 33, claimed “the factory has supplied career prospects at a time when life became tricky”.