The Sight of Me Frightens Them

Dr. Riam Abu-Mukh, 31, from Baka al-Garbiyeh, has an impressive resume. She holds not one but two bachelor's degrees from Hebrew University and a doctorate in chemistry from Bar-Ilan University.

She also completed double postdoctorates. Nonetheless, despite a long period of searching, she couldn't find a job in research, and had to settle for teaching.

Abu-Mukh now holds several part-time jobs, including at the Academic Arab College of Education, a teacher's training institute in Haifa, and the Al-Qasemi Academic College of Education in Baka al-Garbiyeh.

"I sent out a million resumes, but almost no one responded," she relates. "My only solution was to continue on to another postdoc and then another. But at the end of the day you have to work, so I am making do with teaching," she said.

When asked to explain the reasons Jewish employers gave for rejecting her, she showed no doubts.

"First of all I am an Arab woman, and worse, I am religious. I wear a head covering," says Abu-Mukh. "When they see my name and where I live, and even more so when they see me, they are frightened."

She would have expected potential Jewish employers to show an open mind, says Abu-Mukh.

"They should at least call me in for an interview, get to know my work and my views. That is much more important than how I look and where I live. I thought of moving abroad to find work, but I was born in this country and I have no other home."