Government’s Low Pay Pushes Syrian Youth to Freelance Online

Increasing numbers of young Syrian graduates are working in online freelance positions, reports North Press.

After graduating from the College of Fine Arts in Damascus, 25-year-old Ahmad al-Mezain, a resident of al-Zahra’ neighborhood, started his search for a job. He went through several interviews, but was not accepted by any employer, which pushed him to online freelance work.

The number of Syrians who search for freelance job opportunities is increasing as they attempt to benefit from the currency difference.

The deteriorating living conditions that the country is witnessing, declining value of the Syrian pound against the US dollar, and low incomes from steady jobs, whether in public or private sectors, are the main reasons for the spread of this phenomenon.

Working remotely

“When I lost my hope to find a job, a friend of mine advised me  to look for a remote job opportunity, so I made use of my study and developed myself in graphic design,” al-Mezain told North Press.

However, since these work platforms provide good incomes, he also encouraged his friends to practice this kind of work.

Some of al-Mezain’s friends lost their jobs and others had their salaries decreased following the outbreak of coronavirus, in addition to the work market situation at home, so they headed towards freelance platforms to make additional income.

27-year-old Sara al-Babily, an engineer in a private sector company in Damascus, said that she intends to quit her position after doing freelance work.

“My salary in the company where I work does not exceed 200,000 Syrian pounds; that can be doubled with half the effort and time though freelance platforms,” al-Babily, who is residing in Beit Sahm in the west Damascus countryside, said.

She also pointed out low-quality and crowded transportation between her home and workplace, forcing her to hire a taxi for 8,000 pounds.

Al-Babily is a content writer for foreign companies which have become regular customers. “For this work all I need is my laptop at home, and I don’t think about how to get to work or paying too much money for transportation,” she stated.

Despite being profitable work, poor electricity, and internet connections make it hard for the pioneers in this field to complete their works.

Freelance translator Sultan Saif, a graduate of English Literature from the College of Arts and Human Sciences at the University of Damascus, is forced to spend hours completing his work in cafés that offer wi-fi service.

“A lot of times, I deliver my work in a short time, and maybe late due to the periodic sudden electricity cut offs in the neighborhood where I live,” Saif, who is residing in al-Midan neighborhood in Damascus, told North Press.

Therefore, he allocates a monthly amount of money for visiting cafés “in order to avoid such unpleasant delays and the waste of my efforts.”

Not only this, but Saif also said that they suffer from poor internet connection and successive cuts.

Despite the broad-scale turnout on freelance platforms, it is fraught with risks related to delivering remittances and stability.

 

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author. 

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