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Boutros Askar, a 39-year-old Christian Arab, has been unemployed in high-tech for 12 years. Askar, a married father of three, finished his studies in computer sciences at Tel-Hai Academic College in 1996, but has never found work in the field.

"I have worked for a personnel company and as a bookkeeper in a wedding hall. My last jobs were as a wedding hall manager and the manager of an aluminum factory," he says. "Every now and then I would rouse myself and send resumes to high-tech companies.

"I received requests for interviews only once or twice. But the responsibility is mine too. I wasn't experienced and didn't know how to conduct myself in an interview. At a certain stage I simply stopped trying. About a year ago I heard about Tsofen. I finished the course in July and began to look for work again, and found a job at Moah in Nazareth, in quality control using QA software."

A day after his interview, the company director informed employees of the company's closing, Askar said.

How do you explain the fact that so few Arabs find work in high-tech?

"Jews have high awareness of the importance of a career. It's different among Arabs. A young Arab man looks for work at which he can make a living all his life. And there is also the herd phenomenon. For example, many Arabs go into education or medicine. There's no one to direct them."