Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Blockade threatens students' future in Gaza

Blockade threatens students' future in Gaza

Many students in the Gaza Strip aspire to a higher education abroad but the Israeli-Egyptian blockade deprives them of setting out on their journey.

Hundreds of Gaza graduates receive scholarship to attend universities abroad, but they are trapped in the impoverished coastal enclave. They are going to lose their scholarships according to a report by Press TV correspondent

Ayman Quader is one of these students. He has finished his bachelor's degree and was awarded a scholarship yet he cannot leave Gaza. The first term of his scholarship begins in February.

Quader told our correspondent that he is being prevented from going out by the complete siege of the Gaza Strip. Quader calls on all those who are concerned with humanitarian conditions in Gaza to support him and his peers who seek a brighter future in schools abroad.

Israel has imposed crippling restrictions on the Gaza Strip since 2007, preventing the shipment of food, fuel and other essentials into the populated region, pushing its impoverished population to the verge of starvation.

The condition has been further worsened by Egypt's refusal to open the Rafah crossing — the only alternative which is a border terminal not controlled by Israel —.

Along with the other residents of the Gaza Strip, students must wait until the next opening of the Rafah crossing. But there are no scheduled openings of the only gate for the 1.5 million Palestinians in the blockaded region.

Academicians in Gaza argue that traveling abroad is one of the fundamental rights of students which must not be violated by political disputes.

"I'm disappointed and frustrated as a teacher because my students are losing golden opportunities to pursue their studies abroad," said a Gaza University teacher, Akreem Habeeb.

Habeeb expressed regret that many of his students with scholarships from European and American universities lost their chance because they have not been allowed to leave the Gaza Strip.

"These students are living in a great fear of losing their seats and universities," Gaza Education Minister Ahmad al-Najjar told Press TV, warning "their future is in a great danger."

Students in the Gaza Strip have held several protests against the enclosure of their homeland, calling upon Egyptian authorities to facilitate their traveling abroad, requests that appear to fall on deaf ears in Cairo.

Reported by: Yousif EL Helo, Press TV
Ayman T. Quader, Gaza City

Sunday, 24 January 2010

I Have a Dream, by Ayman Quader

This is Ayman Talal Quader, a Palestinian living in the Gaza Strip, where its people have been besieged for almost 4 years. 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

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


Children Smiling in a cemetery, with no much going on in Gaza in their lives, one wonders about human evolution.

These young children have a smiling face, they sure teach me alot about life, compassion & Hope

Photo by: Ayman Quader

Friday, 8 January 2010

Children Suffer The Most As A Result Of The Siege On Gaza

Children Suffer The Most As A Result Of The Siege On Gaza
Text and Photos by Ayman Quader, Gaza
January 8, 2010

Gaza, January 8, 2010 (Pal Telegraph)This is the story of Mahdi abu Zer, 14 years old, living in a very marginalized area called the Qarah district, Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip. His father was killed leaving the family in dire need of support. The re-marriage of his mother has made Mahdi's life even worse rather than better. Mahdi and his other two siblings were forced to leave her and live under the guardianship of their jobless grandfather along with their aunt. Mahdi's home was completely destroyed two years ago as a result of the ongoing incursions in their area . Since that time, the entire family consisting of 3 members has been living miserably in a tent of 17 square meters. To make things worse, reconstruction material has been denied access in Gaza due to the ongoing Israeli blockade on Gaza since June 2007, preventing building and raw materials from entering. Life here is really tough and unbearable for this tiny family. " I can never forget the days of the recent war. It was the time my home was completely bulldozed and bombed two years ago". "During the war we moved to be sheltered by our relatives who are not far from us".

Mahdi is now in Grade 8 and his education progress records are good but life always deprives him of its beauty. The living conditions of the family is gravely harsh and intolerable. As the family lives in a tent, they can not bear the cold weather in winter nor the heat in summer. Gloomily, they have become completely dependent on the aid that regularly offered from the social affairs and other such organizations. These agencies deliver basic requirements of goods such as ( flour, cooking oil, beans….. ) but no essentials containing calcium C which means Mahdi has not received vegetables, fruit, milk and other foods that contain calcium C. This affects Mahdi negatively in terms of health and education. As mentioned above, Mahdi is 14 years old. As a result of the lack of vitamins, particularly Calcium C, he recently lost two teeth. His body is critically weak as a result as well.

Concerning Mahdi's educational progress, it has been turned up-side down as he is severely suffering from malnutrition. His scholastic achievements have fallen due to the dreadful environment he is living in. Waleed Saqa, Mahdi's teacher of English, stated that " Mahdi's behavior is a significant result of the conditions surrounding him. He feels that the entire world is fighting against him which affects him negatively in dealing with his school mates. He plays violently with his friends. That is because of the deprivation that he is experiencing" the teacher stressed.

With very little sources of income, Mahdi and his younger brother Mohammed go searching for scraps of iron and aluminum to sell in order to raise funds for their school expenses, which are very low.

The childhood of Mahdi leaves a few unanswered questions.... Why must life be like this for his family? What does the future hold for him? Is there not a UN resolution about rights of children? Why should children in Gaza be treated in this manner? Will peace be prevail one day?

Mahi and his brother Mohammed in the tent they call home

Ayman T. Quader
Blogger Based on the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip, Palestine
Mob: 00972599448628
E-mail: ayman.qauder@gmail.com
Skype: peaceforgaza
Facebook: ayman.quader
Twitter: peaceforgaza
Web: www.peaceforgaza.blogspot.com

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Peace For Gaza Online Multimedia Event

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Read My Lips LIVE
"Peace For Gaza Online Multimedia Event "
About RML:
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