Yet we have millions of very productive expatriates. Why ? Is it the job type, the salary, culture, what is it that prevents our youth from taking these jobs ??

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Yet we have millions of very productive expatriates. Why ? Is it the job type, the salary, culture, what is it that prevents our youth from taking these jobs ?? window.fbAsyncInit = function() { FB.init({appId: "", status: true, cookie: true, xfbml: true}); }; (function() { var [...]

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by fadi ghandour and Tony Bury, Noura Wahby. Noura Wahby said: RT @fadig: Question: The Arab world has a huge youth unemployment problem, via @fadig [...]

  2. Aiyah Saihati says:

    Notwithstanding other considerations, culture is among the lead from feedback I get; my observations confirm. While certain skills and orientations such as critical thinking play a concrete role, I think attitudes and mindsets are significant intangible factors.

  3. issam says:

    and the unemployment rate is still rising. Jordan reached 11.2%if i recall correctly. I’m saying that because i’m part of that figure. I’m a well educated person who graduated from the American University of Beirut with a 9 years experience in advertising and marketing who is unable to find a decent job in Amman. I have to freelance to survive in this market. I will try my best to leave and work in the gulf region as its my last resort. Companies in jordan rarely invest in their employees which is really sad.

  4. Fawzi says:

    I believe that it’s a combination of regulations, salaries and the lack of powerful labor unions in face of regulators.

    People would work in jobs that are not considered the most prestigious if a. non Jordanians are not allowed to occupy them and/ or b. they pay much better than other jobs involving manual labor (Taxi driving comes to mind). If there was a regulation for each building site to have 25% Jordanian laborers, contractors will find the 125% I believe, even if the have to pay them more and offer them benefits! (The painful process of saudization comes to mind!)

    Disclaimer: the above is based on no research, it’s just an opinion.

  5. Diana Rayan says:

    the expatriates have to be productive and i would say “must be” for one simple reason: they are not living in their own country where they can have their own basic rights like every one else and this is one of the reasons why they left their countries is to collect money and build their future so they can go back to their home countries and live with all the basics might be needed smoothly! What other options than productive is available? none! either to be creative nowadays or you die!

    For the youth i would say we have three points here:
    graduate youth:
    Who have just graduated and would like to join a professional company which does not accept fresh graduate unless they get 2-3 years experiences! If every company says the same, then where shall they go?

    Nationality & Racism:
    youth who had to live in countries other than their home ones for the war issues so they it won’t be easy for them to find a job because they would prefer local employee according to the Gov. rules! only few would let them work but with bad salary and allowances!

    Creativity & Thinking:
    nowadays youth are vey different! they are full of passion and new ideas so they would like to join a company which encourage them to be creative and appreciate their innovative thinking rather than working in a place where they use the old minds and ver casual behaviors and techniques and not welcoming any new ideas! So it will end u with you working as a machine processing the input data into bored production!

    You might stand working in a company which welcome your creativity but not for long once you find out they use your creativity for their own development and ignore your need in terms f appreciation, allowances and even the word Thank You which is not in the dictionary anymore, i guess!

    Simply: its either you join a job you dont like but because the salary is excellent or joining a job you adore but the salary is very bad! Or opening a new company if you are from a rich family, have a strong contact with some business men and if not then applying for the org. which support start up where you might be chosen and if not then will start by your own self and by this will take you 10 years and more to achieve a measurable success!


  6. Hello Fadi,
    Two months ago I was invited by a charity in Irbid Refugee camp to talk about my experience after winning the MENA100 business plan competition, I arrived an hour before my talk to get shocked by the audience which contained peers (17-25 years old) and their moms, dads, some other old people. While I was waiting to do my talk there was a business man telling this audience about how dark the working environment is in Amman and you can’t get a job unless you have courses (of course in his company) and everything you study is just BS. I noticed on the audience faces sadness and anger. So I decide to talk to these people about my life instead of the technology mambo jamboo I was about talking about. I told them that I graduated in June 2010 with an average of 68.2, and how I managed to start a software company in Irbid while was in my second year of university, and how I managed to get an internship in Daimler in Berlin after being kicked out from a circuits class because I arrived to the class late, and recently how I managed to win the first place in Mena100.
    In the break, I had cold slap in the face when an old lady (around 50s) came along and told since you studied in Irbid and have friends in the camp why don’t you visit us more often and work here with us instead of doing that with wealthy people. We lost one country no need lose another. I almost cried from her talks. Now I join with these people who are in the same age as I am to discuss possibilities of helping the local communities.
    After deep thinking of your question, I think we suffer from
    1. The people who know don’t set down with the people who don’t know
    2. There are lots of people who are spreading their black view of the world
    3. The culture we live in doesn’t support failures
    4. We don’t hear much about failure stories of big guys (like you) and how you manged to survive
    5. We don’t speak Arabic (even now I am writing it in English)

    Thanks a lot for asking this question, I think you are hitting on a very critical country

    Abu Musa

  7. FH says:

    I think that what contributes to this are many factors:

    1) the inferiority complex (especially in oil-rich Gulf nations) that Westerners are more knowledgeable, talented, productive to carry out certain tasks.

    2) An archaic business landscape and mindset that does not cater or appeal to Gen-Y workers, which make up the majority of society. These workers will not settle for less, not only because they are still not saddled with hefty financial obligations, but because their expectations are higher than what the previous generation settled for.

    3) Lack of accountability and transparency: when promotion or rewards are not based on talent and merit, but you are rewarded (both culturally and professionally) on biased decisions, then you automatically associate positive traits with negative outcomes (creativity, talent, productivity, high ethics, etc.), and negative traits with positive outcomes (schmoozing, general incompetence adopting a technocractic mindset, etc.

    4) Celebration of mediocrity is deeply ingrained in our culture: our standards are “at least s/he is doing something about it” rather than “do something unique, useful and impactful” which leads to a shorter learning curve – thereby forcing Arabs to migrate abroad to learn and gain experience, and also it forces people who feel are above this curve to migrate, again, to seek bigger challenges and to take on more meaningful and fulfilling roles…

    But then again, I could be completely wrong – these are just my two piasters!!

  8. So that is something that can be learned. Work ethic is learnable not something we are born with. So culture is habit, and habit can be unlearned … start in KG1 and 12 years later you have inventors, entrepreneurs, and engineers … :-)

  9. But you geography should limit your opportunities … your education and experience are your weapons… use them to explore and venture. plenty of opportunities… dont give up

  10. I love your post and your logic … and I would like to hear other opinions on it … but you are right on target … reaching out to people on the margins and bridging the educaiton, and aspiration gaps is very empowering and much needed.

  11. Ali Musleh says:

    The pursuit of meaning!

    This subject is hard to discuss as it has a strong emotional component to it. “Meaning” is an easily dismissed notion as I can easily have 50 people jump right in here and tell me how I can find meaning in many things and of course go on about how they discovered meaning or how others have discovered it. As important as that is, its only enough to make who is feeling anxious to be less anxious and make way for reflective action that could lead to something. and also if discovery stories share context, they’ll probably be a few insights here and there too.

    Thats how the conversation unfolds usually. Meaning is a core issue which importance dissolves quickly because of the way we approach it. Mute all the noise around it and you’ll be able to listen to how powerful it is.

    Jobs, salaries, and cultures are all instrumentalities and vehicles of experience and are not an end in themselves. Its what they make way for or what they block that is important. In many cases it’s all these factors that do not allow the youth to experience self-actualization.

    The youth are not looking for people to help them accept meaning systems, they want and they need to discover meaning! In another context, would you rather accept beliefs or discover beliefs? in general, “discovering” yields stronger faith and justifies the hardship that one undergoes to achieve his/her goals as we’ve learned from many historical stories.

    What we need is to create the right conditions that can be conducive to the making of meaning!

    A father who wants to bring out the best in his son and allow his son to bring out the best in himself understands that completely. The conditions that allow for the self to emerge is what the youth needs and successfully integrating the self in society is what the youth and country needs to thrive.

    I wouldn’t try to categorize expatriates in terms of meaning because I’ll do them great injustice as we are all entitled to pursue meaning and its all the land of god as we say.

    I bet if the youth find meaning in something, they’ll tolerate anything to get to it no matter what the price is. After egypt, we all know that for a fact.

  12. mustafa says:

    There is no real problem. The unemployment does not take in consideration the fact that single people have skills that they can trade with from home. They do not need an office or pay slip. All they need is a platform to develop their idea and then advertise it.
    In this way, millions of “small businesses” can provide sufficient income and create a community of small traders.
    there is a site called 5amsa5amsa which helps people to convert their skills into services and sell it.
    I think it’s a great idea.

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