Thursday, September 24, 2015

Meet Hamed, A Saudi Ph.D. Scholar became a Taxi Driver

Some may think it is a conspiracy, while some may suggest it was circumstances which forced a Ph.D scholar in the Kingdom to leave his studies and drive a taxi. Such is the story of student Hamed who had to abandon his pursuit of knowledge in order to drive a private taxi on the Madinah – Makkah highway, just so that he could be able to support his family. Hamed had to take this route due to the fact that the university where he had been studying, had asked him to devote all of his time to his study for the doctorate and the Education Ministry rejected due to him being unemployed.

Hamed spoke to the media and stated that it was not easy to leave his job as an education supervisor, through which he used to earn SAR 10,000 every month, and now he has to work as a taxi driver, in which sometimes he works for 17 hours straight. Hamed added that his new job as a driver of a private taxi has exposed him to quite a few risks, which include facing traffic violations, while due to his minimal experience in this relative field, it requires him to be working for long hours and has to depend on a social network which is strong. He added that even though he has a salary, he is still in debt to many people. He states that this is due to his fluctuating income, as some times he can earn up to SAR 12,000 while sometimes it is as little as SAR 45. He added that there is nothing more difficult than to find a job in a company, due to the fact that they do not accept anyone who has not been registered with the GOSI.

He says that one day he realized that he was not alone in this situation as he met another taxi driver at the King Abdul Aziz airport who had been working as a taxi driver despite having attained a Ph.D. in chemistry. However the man was not able to find any job to support himself and his family. He added that there were amongst 60 other applicants who had been rejected by the Ministry and thus were forced to look for some other form of income or employment.

Hamed has raised serious questions about the rules and regulations of the university which have made it obligatory for all students to choose between either studying for their doctorate or to be employed and work. Students are not allowed to do both at the same time.

He added that all of the Universities anywhere across the world only require the students who are enrolled in the university to give a portion of their time to their studies, while none of them have placed a ban on working and studying at the same time.  He added that there is little to no hope that his problem will be solved.

Source: Arab News

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