During the 8th episode of “Youth Participate” radio program, two youths, Amal Abu-Qamar and Yasmeen Al-Mabhouh, discussed their research paper titled “Gaza Youth Abscond the City by the Boats of Death”; this episode is within the activities of “Enhancing the Democratic Participation for the Palestinian Youths” project implemented by Pal-Think for Strategic Studies and funded by the Government of Canada.
At the outset of the discussion, Ezz Al-Deen Qouta, an activist, expressed his resentment and disillusionment about the current situation that has been imposed on the Gaza Strip and that thus has been misleading youth to travel by the “Boats of Death” in an attempt to find out a beam of hope. Qouta said that the occupation and the Palestinian split are the chief reasons for the deterioration of the situation in the Gaza Strip, referring that these reasons exacerbate other problems one of which is unemployment in mid of the pressing political situation that has been depriving youth to enjoy their civil and democratic rights.
“What pushes youth to take the risk towards illegally immigrating is the lack of awareness about the suffering the refugees face in the hosting countries that the immigrants aspire to reside in, imagining a rosy life to be ahead of them, but a rough one, indeed.” Qouta added.
Amal Abu-Qammar, in her research paper, talked about the differences between the legal and illegal immigration. As well as, Yasmeen Mabhouh explained the political factor in creating the illegal immigration phenomena, referring to the occupation as a factor besides the internal Palestinian split and the political anarchy in the area. Plus, she elaborated other leading reasons for immigration including the high ratio of unemployment reaching 45% and the deteriorating economic situation that contributed in planting the idea of immigration in youth.
The guests agreed that helping Gaza citizens have a better life will surely be of assistance to lessen the numbers of immigrating youths. They believed that this can happen by dedicating effort by the governmental, non-governmental and civil organizations around the Gaza Strip.