Friday, November 13, 2009

Gaza Graduates Search for Vitamin W

By Mohammed Omer

"THE HAGUE, Nov 12 (IPS) - "We fast a long time," says Gaza graduate Mona Ismail, 23. "Only to break our fast on a piece of onion."

She is speaking not of Ramadan but of the whole year, and year after year. She graduated in 'academic excellence in English language' from the Islamic University in Gaza. A prestigious course, and her dream. But now, there is no work she can find in line with her studies.

"I am now considering community volunteer work with organisations that offer English classes," she says, reached on phone from The Hague.

Gaza, considered by much of the world a troubled slum, has near universal literacy, and fine centres of learning. But then, no work afterwards for most.

Women are affected more than the men. Large numbers of women graduates are now searching for simple jobs in kindergartens......

Ruba Ibrahim, who graduated from Al-Azhar University three years back is now teaching in a kindergarten after failing to get a proper job in a public school. "For that I need Vitamin W," she says. By 'W' she means "wasta", Arabic for connections......."

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