By Amal Al-Sibai
When your mobile phone hangs or it faces some other technical problem, you often visit a mobile phone store in your locality. A young repair technician with no solid educational background in electronics or engineering expertly repairs your mobile within no time in return for a humble fee.
Khalid Al-Harthi, an 18-year-old boy is one such sought after repair technician at a mobile phone store in his area, he said, “My interest in mobile phones started when I was in the seventh grade. My hobby was to collect all the used and unwanted mobile phones from my family members, relatives, and friends at school. I would take the phones apart, clean them from the inside, and put them back together again. That is how I taught myself everything there is to know about mobile phones inside mechanism. Now, I am curious about smart phones such as the I-phone and Samsung Galaxy and I am researching their download applications.”
Another young man named Sultan Al-Khaldi accidentally entered this profession. He told Al-Watan daily, “I stumbled upon this high-tech career by chance. I was only ten years old and I accidentally dropped my father’s new mobile phone in a cup of water. It was a disaster because my father was furious and he threatened to punish me. Due to the fear of punishment and my desire to fix what I had ruined, I opened the mobile phone, cleaned it from the inside, dried it with a hair dryer, and closed it again. When I returned the ‘functioning’ phone to my father, he was surprised, happy, and proud of me for fixing it.
“The mixed feeling of relief and accomplishment drove me to learn more and more about mobile phone repair. During my summer holidays, I would spend my days at the local mobile phone stores, silently but closely watching the technicians at work. A few years later I started working at a store for long hours, although the store owner only paid me a trivial amount of money.”
Al-Khalidi gradually gained experience and knowledge about maintaining and repairing mobile phones, he read extensively about smart phones, and he took several courses on-line that teach the make-up of mobile phones. Now, he owns his own small repair store. “I will never forget the first SR10 I earned after fixing a customer’s mobile phone,” he said.
Others find encouragement from their families or teachers at school to learn more in depth about their fascination and hobby in working with mobile phones.
Muhammad Ahmad recalled, “I owe my success in the world of mobile phone repair to my father who helped and supported me in developing this initial hobby. He bought me scores of devices without even considering the cost.
“In the very beginning, out of every ten mobile phones that I dismantled, I was able to correctly fix only one and the rest were permanently damaged. After each setback my father warned me against giving up. He helped me train with a repair technician in our neighborhood, and I finally got a job as a mobile repair technician in another store. Whereas in the first few months, I would only make SR 50 a day,but now with patience, sincerity, and hard work, today I make a little over SR 1,000 a day repairing mobile phones.”