chapter  5
21 Pages

“Born to be exported”?

The post-civil war Lebanese youth(s) 1 and the rupture between education and employment 2
WithRima Majed

This chapter explores the conditions of youth marginalisation through studying the relationship between structural changes and youth unemployment in Lebanon. It looks at the relationship between education, job opportunities and migration based on the results of the SAHWA Youth Survey 2016 (2017) and the SAHWA Ethnographic Fieldwork 2015. The chapter highlights the differences between private and state education and their implications on the job market. It also discusses the significance of the informal sector in absorbing a considerable section of the low-skilled labour force in the country. Through this analysis, the chapter discusses how unequal access to quality education led to social reproduction, limited the chances for social mobility and deepened the marginalisation of the youth(s). Therefore, instead of speaking of a mismatch between education and employment in Lebanon, the chapter argues that there seems to be a complete “rupture” between the two. This rupture has mainly been treated through migration: either from rural areas to the capital city, or by finding job opportunities abroad. Thus, although often undesired, migration has become the main escape from unemployment for a large section of Lebanese youth(s) who are “born to be exported”.