THE STRUGGLES OF GRADUATES IN SOUTH KURDISTAN

man selling Rubarb

Education within the Kurdish Region has been expanding in the recent years and it has been pushing to ensure that students find employment after graduation. The majority of students in the region study within the public universities which is quite largely then private universities and is tuition free.  The expectation of student education is higher and universities have been hiring top educators around the world to aid in the process of good quality education.

Due to the history of violence and struggle faced by the Kurdish people, education was not always  static as wars have caused students to drop out and pick up once able to. With that being said, some students after graduation find it hard to seek employment  in their career field and often take on jobs that they would never have thought to do. Often graduates are unlikely to get jobs in their qualified areas and students get a slower start which delays the process of creating a better future for themselves and often their families.

What I noticed when I was in the region was that students are willing to do what ever it takes to find employment because they know it is competitive. Since, globalization has hit the regions hard, the  demand of speaking multiple languages and having transferable skills is an asset for most jobs.

One day I was traveling from Soran to Erbil in South Kurdish (known to western world as Northern Iraq) and I noticed a young man sitting on a pickup turk selling rhubarb. I immediately asked the drive to stop the car. I could not help it but feel that I need to approach this young man and help tell his story. I felt that he had something important to say that we could all learn from his experience. So I had to capture a photo of the young gentlemen.  I came to learn that this young gentlemen was from the city Rawanduz and he was a recent university graduate. He found it difficult to seek employment after graduation in his field so he had no other choice but to take on other employment. So he started selling rhubarb on side of the road to earn some sort of income even though it was not what he wanted. He could not let his ego get the best of him because at the end of the day we all need to earn some sort of income to live. My heart really went out for him because I have been in his shoes where it was difficult to find employment in my sector and I had to work in jobs that would not my cup of tea. I was so proud of him for really putting his foot forward and not giving up. Often we find it difficult and we want to quit the job searching because we get tired of looking and looking, often loosing hope. But with determination we can succeed in finding the job we desire and deserve.  We cannot forget that the road to success is not easy, it is a bumpy ride.

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