Authors: Dana Awwad
Faculty Mentor: Romeyn Esther
College: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
One of the responses to the political repressions and its economic repercussions in Gaza and the West Bank is the outmigration of Palestinian youth, particularly the wealthier sections of the population. This loss of human capital, also called “Brain Drain”, is seen as depriving the Palestinian region of financial, economic and human resources that otherwise would have contributed to its development. Nevertheless, remittances sent home by expatriate Palestinians demonstrate an important source of financial security and many returnees reinvest in the financial and economic infrastructure of the country. This research focuses on the gender dynamics and family strategies that are often invisible in this area’s literature. Migration of Palestinian youth is often part of a familial decision and the structure of expectations and desired outcomes of these decisions is thoroughly gendered. Even though women tend to have higher educational and literacy rates, the expectation is that they would not plan their futures away from family, even when they are permitted to pursue an education abroad. This research explores the norms and values defining the parameters of independence Palestinian women face when imagining their futures.