Qatar to Bring 200 Teachers from Palestine After Ramadan

SHAFAQNA - More than 200 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza will be moving to Qatar after Ramadan to work as teachers within the emirate.

Qatar faces a shortage of teachers and plans to hire some 1,500 teachers from throughout Arab world. The new Palestinian teachers benefit from a deal struck in late 2013 between Qatar and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah allowing some 20,000 Palestinians living in the occupied territories to apply for working visas.

Previously, individuals who only held Palestinian identification documents, and not passports, were unable to apply to work in Qatar. It is not always possible for Palestinians to obtain passports within the occupied territories and these passports are not always recognized by foreign governments.

Although the new deal began in January of last year, it remains unclear how many of the 20,000 visas have actually been issued. The Palestinian ambassador to Qatar, Munir Ghannam, did however tell Doha News that Palestinians had come to the embassy and explained that they have come through the new deal.

Unemployment in the occupied territories hovers around 25 percent and thus Qatar now serves as a great option for Palestinian residents seeking employment abroad.

Ghannam explained, “The door is open for Palestinians to come to Qatar, according to the needs of the labor market. Unemployment in Palestine is very high. The Palestinians need work where they can find it.”

Like other GCC countries, Qatar restricts the number of foreign hires from a particular country with a quota system. Ghannam told Doha News that when he assumed his position as ambassador 10 years ago, the quota for Palestinians was zero. Thus 20,000 serves as a rather dramatic increase.

However, the agreement only covers employment visas and does not necessarily allow for Palestinians who obtain jobs in the emirate to also bring their families.

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