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A student’s story: Offered a scholarhsip in Spain but trapped in Gaza

Written by admin  •  Sunday, 24.01.2010, 12:22
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Ayman Quader, Featured in the Palestine Telegraph, 24 January 2010

I was born in July, 1986. I received my education in the UNRWA schools since my childhood. Then I finished my studies from the Islamic University of Gaza from the English Department in 2008.

As a Palestinian who truly loves his homeland and believes that peace and justice will cover my people; I have been looking forward to helping my people especially in the cruel condition they are passing through in the present time. I have significantly been different fields’ pre and post of my university studies for almost 4 years. I have worked as volunteer in civil societies where I practiced tasks to help people and educate children. Since August 2008, I have been dedicating my life to helping my needy people through joining one of the international humanitarian organizations that based in the Gaza Strip. Additionally, I have launched a blog peaceforgaza, through which I have been trying to bring my people suffering to be seen by people internationally.

Where and when have I granted the scholarship?

I have been recently accepted to an academic scholarship program at the Universitat Jaume I (UJI) in Castellón, Spain for the International Masters in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies (PEACE Master). I have been successfully granted a Spanish student visa in order to complete my academic program that begins February 2010 and runs all the way through to May of 2012.

What are the senses of suffering?

Since the first day on my acceptance in Nov 2009 at the university, the hardship starts. As the Gaza strip brutally lives under a total siege, I have been getting worried from the very beginning. The main cause that gravely makes me worry is how to get out from Gaza. I have been forcing myself several times to get myself calm down till I get the visa keeping in my mind the hardship that I will be passing through when I get the visa. I have been granted the student visa recently, then I have come to the really suffering entitled “Rafah Border”.

Why am I deprived from my basic right?

All I aspire is my fundamental rights to learn and study; rights that are supposed to be guaranteed and recommended by all the international resolutions and the United Nations. I am not asking for a miracle, it is my reserved right. I am handling all my documents, visa, and acceptance letter from my university and supporting documents. Why I am being prevented from leaving Gaza and prevented access to Spain? I am actually paralyzed whom to ask and consult in regard to my exit from Gaza. I have been knocking all the doors, asking for help and advice to bring me out so as to receive my education in Spain.

The conditions of the borders have become extremely complex, making it almost impossible for Palestinians living in Gaza to leave under any circumstances, including for medical treatment, to visit relatives or on academic scholarship to study abroad. The borders, including the Rafah border – the only throughway between Gaza and Egypt – are all controlled by Israeli Security Forces, although Israel’s control of the Rafah border is more indirect than the borders leading out of Gaza and into “Israel Proper” (as defined by the 1967 armistice lines; see UN Resolution 242). The Israeli government practicing a collective punishment of a civilian population, contrary to article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions (1949), by neglecting much needed humanitarian aid and building supplies into the strip, pre and post Operation Cast Lead. The result is thousands of homeless and starving Gazans left with nowhere to turn but the international community.

I am growing increasingly worried as my studies are due to begin at the beginning of February and my flight is booked for February 1.

I am appealing and calling lawyers, politicians, journalists and all activists for human rights to join the fight for me and my right to the education that I have always dreamed of.

– Ayman Quader, in Gaza City

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