BLOG 3: Ahmad Lala: Port for the ages - Aqaba's apeal
A relatively slow news day (logistics wise) gave me a chance to work on some features for the July edition of the magazine. My focus of interest today was the gorgeous Aqaba Port in Jordan.
I was engrossed from the minute I typed in the word “Aqaba” into a search engine. A long list filled with descriptions of infamous battles popped up on my screen. After taking a deep breath, I scrolled down the list from the start of the Jordanian city’s colourful 6000-year history.
There is a list of conquests by Edomites and then Arab Nabataeans, a roughly 500-year period of Roman rule starting in 106 AD and ending with defeat to a flourishing Islamic Empire under the then Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab. Further down is a brief reign by the Crusader armies in the 12th century, before recapture by the famed Islamic general Saladin.
Near the end of the list lies the Battle of Aqaba, a 1917 First World War skirmish that saw the involvement of a certain Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence – better known as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’.
But, in spite of the wars – or perhaps because of them - the city of Aqaba and its port have flourished. It was another war after all, which prompted the Jordanian hierarchy to tender out the management of the port in 2004 to its current handlers APM Terminals, part of the Danish AP Moller-Maersk Group - and operating as Aqaba Container Terminals.
I have done an interview with Aqaba Container Terminals CEO Soren Hansen – which you will be able to read in the July issue of Logistics Middle East Magazine. In the meantime though, enjoy the picture of the Aqaba Port above.
Until tomorrow then; keep well…
As editor of Logistics Middle East magazine, I’ve decided to do a regular lighthearted blog for this website. I will take an alternative look at the logistics issues of the day, treat you to behind the scenes information on the personalities I meet in this industry and basically give you a general overview of life as a logistics journalist.