The Washington Post reports: They are the Hamas generation, raised under the firm hand of an Islamist militant movement. They are the survivors of three wars with Israel and a siege who find themselves as young adults going absolutely nowhere.
In many circles in Gaza, it is hard to find anyone in their 20s with real employment, with a monthly salary.
They call themselves a wasted generation.
Ten years after Hamas seized control of Gaza, the economy in the seaside strip of 2 million has been strangled by incompetence, war and blockade.
Gaza today lives off its wits and the recycled scraps donated by foreign governments. Seven in 10 people rely on humanitarian aid.
Young people say they are bored out of their minds.
They worry that too many of their friends are gobbling drugs, not drugs to experience ecstasy but pills used to tranquilize animals, smuggled across Sinai. They dose on Tramadol and smoke hashish. They numb.
Hamas has recently stepped up executions of drug traffickers.
Freedoms to express oneself are circumscribed. But the young people speak, a little bit. They say their leaders have failed them — and that the Israelis and Egyptians are crushing them.
Why not revolt? They laugh. It is very hard to vote the current government out — there are no elections.
“To be honest with you, we do nothing,” said Bilal Abusalah, 24, who trained to be a nurse but sometimes sells women’s clothing.
He has cool jeans, a Facebook page, a mobile phone and no money. [Continue reading…]