In Gaza: I escape by sleeping

A disappointed Palestinian youth losing hope of life in Gaza [Photos File]

A disappointed Palestinian youth losing hope of life in Gaza

Ali Ahmad had a big dream. But waking up to the harsh reality has made him seek refuge in sleep.

After five and a half years of studying computer engineering, Ahmed graduated full of hope. But the happiness was soon erased as he was shocked by a painful reality. The well-qualified man applied for many jobs, but the result was always negative. He suffers the pain of disappointment. Ali reacted to this anticlimax by disappearing. The young man just gave up and escaped from the dreadful reality to sleep.

Since Ali finished his high school with high grades, his father had worked relentlessly and more to provide him with the necessary needs and university fees.

Ali’s poor family has a limited income. His father receives his salary from the Gaza government— the besieged government by the Israeli occupation for more than 12 years. for the past four years,  he’s been receiving only less than half of his salary because of the difficult economic conditions experienced by Gaza and its government in the past 12 years till this day as a result of the Israeli suffocating siege.

Ali’s father favored his son study over providing for his family. He often deprived his family of a lot of things to pay his son’s university fees and other requirements of studying, as he dreamed of seeing his son a great engineer in the future.

Ali challenged many obstacles which stood in his way to completing his university studies. His family’s destitute life put him in a very hard position where he was unable to buy some of his most basic needs for university or provide transportation money.  The electricity shortages and the way they affected his study schedule and the overall environment shadowed by the siege all stood like pillars in Ali’s way. Despite all that, Ali persevered and continued in the hope of saving his family from the grinding poverty and achieving his father’s dream  

“I haven’t seen Ali for two months, he suddenly disappeared.” A friend of Ali said to his father, “What’s wrong with him?  Is he alright?!”, Ali’s father didn’t answer and remained silent unwilling to tell anyone about his son’s pain.

Ali’s New Life

“After I graduated, I used to develop myself by taking additional courses in Computer Engineering in order to enhance my skills for the labor market”, Ali said. 

Lately, the circumstances in Gaza have become worse than ever. A lot of companies were liquidated and many people lost their jobs due to the accumulation of debt.

Ali realized that he will not work in his major, so he decided to work in another field. He got a driving license and started working as a taxi driver for two months, but he couldn’t continue for long. majority of young people work as taxi drivers and all of them facing the shortage of work.

He kept searching and laboring to find any other job, k until he realized that he would not able to work in a field other than the field he loves and which he had been studying for more than five years.

Ali became frustrated and desperate!

“I was dreaming to be, but I realized that I was born in a country where I can’t survive. I have no choices, but to seek refuge in sleeping,. I will run away to my bed and try to sleep my worries away. .”

“My dream now is to be dead”, Ali said tearfully.

Ali is now 35-year-old, he couldn’t achieve his dreams, has no basic requirements of living, unmarried, disappointed, and carries one wish in his heart to die.


Gaza Unemployment

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of statistics for 2018, the unemployment rate in Gaza Strip is 49,1% Making it the highest in the world. Among young people alone, unemployment exceeds 55%. With no prospects in the horizon, the youth of Gaza are left to suffer psychologically and have lost the sense of direction. Any way they turn, they find the doors of the blockade slammed shut in the faces. Like Ali, thousands have suffered when the dreams they had envisaged were killed.

Israel continues to hold a tight grip on the Gaza Strip to suffocate its people and destroy their hopes of a better future.  The young people are the most traumatized by this ongoing deprivation and suffering. Many have sought ways out of the enclave to search for a better future, while others wait for a political breakthrough that will save them from a slow death.

Despite the circumstances, Palestinians have endured over 70 years of Israeli occupation war crimes and have stood high. They’ve fought with tooth and nail to hold on to their land, to regain their basic human rights in the hope that coming generations would reap the fruit of their long and unwavering struggle.

(Source / 27.02.2019)

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