Gaza student unable to attend the International Youth Leadership Conference|
Appeal, Palestinian Telegraph, 17 May 2010
My name is Refaat Abd Elaal, and I am currently a student in the Gaza Strip. I have recently been the recipient of an invite to the International Youth Leadership Conference in Prague (11th-16th July), but am currently unable to procure a visa to attend, due to the political situation here. As the first Palestinian student to attend this prestigious conference, which is backed by such prestigious partners as the Czech government, the EU, the UN and Price Waterhouse Cooper, Im sure you can understand the importance of my presence at this event.
I want to mention that I have received an invite since the last January and due to the siege imposed on Gaza I couldnt attend to the conference at that time, so I asked the management of the conference to give me another chance to attend with the next conference in July and they gave me what I asked for.
I would appreciate any accommodation you can give me in the visa application process, as it is particularly difficult applying from my part. While I am aware that countries such as the US and the UK are able to mediate applications through telephone or video conferencing, I dont know if that can help in my situation but Im opened to all options that enable me to personally attend the conference.
Having contacted the Czech Consulate by telephone, I was recommended to apply via email to request a Visa without interview, due to the severity of my situation. But now my problem is in leaving Gaza, the borders are rarely opened and when opened only a certain number of people pass. My dream is to be able to attend this conference and my question is: Will my dream come true?
Refaat Abd Elaal
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