Palestine – High unemployment in Gaza forces master’s degree holder to work as gravedigger


Location: Gaza – Palestine

Language: Arabic

Duration: 00:05:38

Sound: Natural

Source: A24 in Gaza

Restrictions: A24 subscribers

Date: 04/06/2022


A Palestinian young man, a master’s degree holder in Arabic language, may think that after years of study the hard work is over, but chances of keeping his dream alive to become a teacher can prove an altogether tougher assignment.   

Mahdi Ramadan, from Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip, said high unemployment and comparatively poor living conditions forces him to work as gravedigger instead of an Arabic language teacher.  

He told A24 News Agency that landing his dream as a teacher becomes difficult although he wrote many research papers, joined several training courses, and obtained many experience certificates with an honor’s degree.   

Mahdi, hoping soon to fulfill his dream, said he decided to work as a gravedigger along with his father to support himself and his family.

Gaza’s unemployment rate rose to seventy-five percent amid the tough living conditions there and Israel’s blockade on the coastal strip.


-Soundbite (Mahdi Ramadan – Master’s degree holder who works as gravedigger):

“I graduated six years ago and haven’t been able to find a job, same as many other graduates, who went into work unrelated to their studies just to earn a living and support themselves… I also obtained a master’s degree from Al-Aqsa University. I joined many courses and obtained certificates, and licenses for research I conducted. I wrote research papers on the impact of digital media on children’s language development from the parents’ point of view,  the common mistakes that some writers make, and other topics…. But after all this effort and academic achievements, I was unable to find a job. In order to not be a burden on my father, I decided to help him with his work and became an assistant worker for him in the cemetery.

-Soundbite (Mahdi Ramadan – Master’s degree holder who works as gravedigger):

“My daily routine has become to go to the cemetery and work there. When someone calls us to dig a grave, we dig and prepare it from scratch and custom-build it to earn a small wage, which is far from the job I aspire to have. My work in the cemetery is temporary, this phase of my life will pass because I aspire to have a successful career in a field fitting of the degree I obtained. I do not want my college degree to remain placed in a cabinet and be forgotten, I want to put it to good use.”

-Soundbite (Mahdi Ramadan – Master’s degree holder who works as gravedigger):

“This is my livelihood, this cemetery is my life now… But I aspire to find a job that lets me escape the world of the dead into the world of the living, I want to work in the field I studied for my degree.”

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