Trapped and jobless, Gaza youth look for way out

STORY: Sabreen Abu Jazar was hours from finishing the perilous journey from Gaza to Europe last month, when the migrant boat she was on overturned just off the Greek coast.

Sabreen was travelling - via Turkey - to meet her husband in Greece.

They were newly weds, and she was following him to Europe to build a life together.

She returned to Gaza in a coffin on Tuesday (March 21).

Her mother Suha's joy has turned to grief.

"I called her, by chance, and she raised her hands to the sky, like this, and said: "Pray for me mother, just pray for me." I did not know she was packed and ready to go. She said: "Goodbye, I am going away, I am travelling. I am leaving."

Sabreen was one of a rising number of people risking the migrant journey from Gaza to escape repeated wars and a punishing Israeli and Egyptian blockade.

Three other brides were on the same boat.

In the heart of Gaza City, Saeed Lulu, a media graduate, owns "The Graduate's stall" - serving drinks to passersby.

He is the only breadwinner for a family of six.

Jobs in Gaza are scarce. When one does arise, a degree don't always help but political connections do.

"We are lost, Mahmoud Abbas is the current (Palestinian) president and Hamas rules here, but neither Abbas nor Hamas are providing us with anything. On the contrary, the youth today are migrating because there are no opportunities for employment or hope. Our present is not clear, we are not able to see it."

According to the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, since 2014, at least 378 people have died or gone missing attempting to migrate from Gaza.

Three have died so far this year.