«Suspicion of Arab origin cancel negotiations

     "Collateral effects" of the War in Santo André

The impossible have happened. The war in Iraq brought consequences for Portugal, more concretely, for a company headquartered in V.N. Saint Andres. The assignment Al Zulej was confused with the Arab world for international customers, who had cancelled the negotiations.


It's not the day of the lies, but counted nobody believes!

A workshop that by hand produces and commercializes tiles and diverse spotted parts of ceramics is to enter in "pre-bankruptcy" technique due the associations of the name Al Zulej with the Islamic universe. "In Portugal, still it goes passing, but in the other countries, nobody wants swims with us".

Andrea de Macêdo Ramos is responsible for the department of Marketing and the Communication of the company. While she tells the passage of the Al Zulej, she leaves to escape a smile, before uncommon history. But the case is not for smiles. Andrea tells that everything started with the desire of the activity internationalization, in 2001, little time after the formation of the society. The businesses with America well were directed when the attempted was given against the Twin Towers, the 11 of September. "Soon there, we receive as reply a not redundant one".

In virtue of the cut in the commercial relations, that finished to be born, the company found for good to modify the logotype, then represented for one Islamic figure. Even thus, the solution was not definitive. "We arrived to receive correspondence from Muslim origin to enter in contraband of weapons!" Andrea does not hide its astonishment, shared for the mother, Paula Ramos, responsible for the creative part of the Al Zulej. The known artist witness who "Had heights where it sells well, and still we negotiated with some European countries. Today, it is everything worse and the crisis reaches all".

Helped for the war, the crisis of the Al Zulej has come to accent itself. "Since the conflict in Iraq started, they had come reply negative of countries as Belgium, saying that they do not want to negotiate with us for religious reasons".

In an attempt of clarification the situation, Andrea inserted an etymologic explanation of ' tile' in the company site, in some languages. She says that more of this it is not to her reach and waits that the notation concerning the derivation of the word contributes for the clarification of its commercial partners.

For already, the company continues to bet in the manual production of ceramics and tiles, painted for Paula Ramos, that still use to advantage to give to formation the new values. Sell of gifts and diverse articles to particulars and companies, tile execution for decoration of interiors, restore and conservation of national tiling is some of the main vectors of the activity of the Al Zulej, after all well alentejana.»

Rita Elias, Notícias de Sines - 19 of April of 2003