It was always my intention to continue my academic career and earn a master’s degree in London.
Finally, I achieved my dream at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 2019.
I received a master’s degree in critical media and cultural studies for my dissertation on Palestinian cinema. I applied Russian literary scholar M.M. Bakhtin’s concept of the “chronotope,” which refers to the interconnectedness of time and space, to an analysis of two films: Wedding in Galilee (1987), the story of a Palestinian village under the rule of an Israeli military governor, and In Between (2016), the story of three young Arab women living in Tel Aviv. I investigated the relationship between the behavior and mobility of the main female characters in the films and the patriarchal social systems that curtail women’s freedom.
I thought that my degree would open doors to job opportunities and a life career.
But I was wrong.
When I came back to Palestine in May, at first I was swamped preparing for my wedding.
Then my job search began. Being responsible for a household has made me desperate in that search. My husband works as a secretary in a government school in North Hebron. One salary is not enough to live a decent life in Palestine. Everything is very expensive. To make matters worse, Palestine has been in a financial crisis since early last year due to a decline in international aid and the withholding of tax revenues by Israel.
When I started, I applied to numerous jobs at Palestinian universities. I applied for a desirable teaching job and was told it was reserved for me, though administrators didn’t know if it would be full or part-time. I waited for a week, then another week, for official confirmation, but I heard nothing. So I called. They told me they only hire American professors.
This made me feel a certain kind of inferiority complex; even if I studied and worked at American liberal arts college (Bard College) and possess a British master’s degree, I’m told I’m not qualified compared to foreign academics.