Mahmoud Maqat, a baker with a doctorate degree in Gaza
Mahmoud’s work in the bakery did not prevent him from publishing 12 scientific papers in which he dealt with various jurisprudential topics. He also receives daily phone calls seeking legal advice, in addition to his commitment to religious lessons and voluntary Friday sermons.
Gaza – Have you ever bought bread from a doctor? The question may seem strange, but this is what is happening in Gaza, as Dr. Mahmoud Abdel Moati Muqat works in a small bakery to support his family, after he narrowed it down to get a job in his field of specialization.
“Oh sheikh, oh doctor,” one of these two descriptions calls Mahmoud Muqat’s colleagues and customers to him while he was working in a bakery preparing bread for shawarma rolls, which is known as “Iraqi bread” or “farraheh” in the local dialect.
Doctor degree baker
Mahmoud Muqat, born in 1987, holds a doctorate in Islamic law. He is distinguished from his colleagues in the bakery by his long, bushy beard and wearing the clothes that are known to preachers and preachers of mosques in Gaza.
Moqat works in the bakery from early morning until one in the afternoon, for a daily wage of 60 shekels (less than $20). With great satisfaction with what God has decreed for him, he tells Al-Jazeera Net, a smile that did not leave him throughout the meeting with him, “Praise be to God, anyway… I work and many others do not find a job opportunity.”
In Moqat’s view, this conviction does not conflict with his dream of a job that will benefit from his forensic knowledge and higher degrees, to the extent that he shows willingness to work in the field of education, even with a salary less than what he earns in his work in the bakery.
Since obtaining his doctorate, Moqat has tried a lot to obtain this opportunity in universities and educational institutions, but to no avail, and for various reasons, “the employment door is currently closed, or the specialization is not required, or you need a certificate of experience for two years of teaching in the same field of specialization.”
Moqat wonders, “How can I gain experience without a job opportunity, even if it is temporary?” And while he was sitting in front of the oven picking bread with an iron tool, he said, “I went to the Personnel Office (a government body) and was shocked that my specialization in Islamic law is not even on the lists of Who is entitled to work on unemployment (temporary work).”
Two doctor’s degrees
Despite the bitterness of the experience, Mahmoud Maqat does not regret studying Islamic law, and says, “If time goes back to me, I will not change my field of study…this science will benefit me in this world and the hereafter.”
Moqat achieved a unique achievement by obtaining two doctorate degrees in “Comparative Jurisprudence” and “Islamic Law” from two universities in Lebanon and Sudan, with a time difference of 3 months. travel complex imposed by the Corona pandemic.
Moqat’s work in the bakery did not prevent him from publishing 12 scientific papers that dealt with various jurisprudential topics, and publishing them on specialized Islamic research networks and sites on the Internet. He said that he receives daily phone calls seeking legal advice, in addition to his commitment to religious lessons and voluntary Friday sermons.
Highly Qualified Unemployment
With pride, Maqat refuses to go to relief institutions to obtain aid, as the conditions for obtaining it apply to him as he supports a large family consisting of his wife and 6 children, one girl and 5 males, one of whom is eight years old and has cancer.
According to official and civil data, more than 80% of the population of Gaza (two million people) live below the poverty line, and depend to meet their basic needs on relief aid provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and other international and local bodies.
“It is true that I do not work with my diploma, but I earn my living, and I consider myself better than others, and there are people like me who hold high degrees, whether they are unemployed or they work in difficult and less profitable occupations than my work in the bakery,” Moqat said.
Data from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (an official institution) showed that the unemployment rate among university graduates in various disciplines reached 78% in Gaza during the year 2020, compared to 35% in the West Bank.
According to a statement published by the device on its official website last July on “the field of study and its relationship to the labor market”, Palestinian higher education institutions graduated in 2019 more than 42,000 students in various fields, while the local labor market absorbs only 8,000 Graduated annually.