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University Scholarships for Students in Palestine

by Middle East Children's Alliance
University Scholarships for Students in Palestine
University Scholarships for Students in Palestine
University Scholarships for Students in Palestine
University Scholarships for Students in Palestine
University Scholarships for Students in Palestine
University Scholarships for Students in Palestine
Omar graduated with a degree in medicine!
Omar graduated with a degree in medicine!

We are thrilled to announce that we have awarded scholarships to 113 Palestinian students studying at nine different universities across the West Bank and Gaza. These students have demonstrated a passion for education and a commitment to give back to their communities. Thank you for supporting this project and enabling these ambitious students to continue their studies.

We also wanted to share updates from two recent graduates of MECA's scholarship project.

Arwa graduated last summer with a degree in English language from Hebron University. She is now putting her skills to work teaching English to children at a center in her hometown of Hebron. She says "Thank you a million times for all you support and efforts which helped me to be where I am today."

And just a few days ago, Omar graduated with a degree in medicine from Al-Azhar University. We'll be following up with him on his next steps but are so proud of the graduates of our scholarship project. Wafaa El-Derawi, MECA's Gaza Projects Assistant, who attended the graduation ceremony says "It was a very great and emotional moment when I heard the names of the graduating students from MECA's scholarship project. The happiness of the students and their families made me feel that this moment was worth the tiring work throughout the year. Really these moments energize me and make me see that our work is very useful and appreciated by everyone. Thanks a lot from me, Omar, and all the MECA scholarship students."

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Maya during her graduation ceremony
Maya during her graduation ceremony

Thanks to you and many generous supporters of our scholarship program, 36 young Palestinians graduated with degrees in education, midwifery, Arabic literature, nursing and more!

We are working hard to review applications from new students hoping to attend university in the West Bank and Gaza and will keep you updated about some of these talented and ambitious Palestinians who are continuing their education with your support.

Here is a profile of one of the 36 outstanding recent graduates of our scholarship project: 

Maya, 22, graduated from al-Makassed’s Nursing School in Jerusalem in June 2019. Maya was a beneficiary of the Elly Jaensch Memorial Scholarship fund and is one of many students receiving a scholarship from MECA who has made us really proud.

Her desire to become a nurse came from a bittersweet experience. When Maya was young, her grandfather was extremely sick and spent lots of time in hospitals. He was cared for by several nurses, and his favorite one was named Maya, just like his beloved granddaughter. When she grew up, her parents shared this story with her and said that he always prayed that his little Maya would grow up to become an amazing nurse like nurse Maya. The thought of a career comforting sick people and also making her family proud appealed to her, and eventually her grandfather’s prayer was answered.

Maya’s family lives in Silwan, East Jerusalem. They have a moderate income but they would always try to do the impossible for their daughter so she could pursue her dreams. There was always pressure and stress over financing such education. That’s when Maya was introduced to the MECA scholarship program and the financial obstacles were no longer a source of stress and pressure.

Maya explained “I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that I’ve witnessed my mother’s tears of joy and appreciation more than one time when she saw how I didn’t have to carry the financial burden of getting an education and was lucky enough to only focus on studies which gave me the opportunity to excel at them.”

Maya’s academic journey doesn’t end here. She still wants to enhance her medical skills, learn more, and reach higher places. While pursuing further professional development, she plans to volunteer with organizations that support children in order to give back to her community and set an example for the children.

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We wanted you to hear directly from some of the students so here are a few messages of thanks:

"I'm speechless. Thank you. I have registered for all the courses I need (to graduate). I will never forget your support. I will work hard until I could be able to help other students as you have helped me." -Arwa, studying English at Hebron University

"I am a resident cardiologist. I studied medicine in Gaza. By 2010 I was in the third year and financial barriers told me that was the end and I won't be able to beomce a doctor. MECA's scholarship was my hero. For three consecutive years you helped me and my dream came true with this help. I am now a doctor and helping people. I am now looking towards a higher degree in cardiology and always thanking who you aided my first steps in my way." - Mohammad, graduate from Al-Azhar University in Gaza

"Thank you for your support me during my studies. Now I graduated with a degree in Computer Systems Engineering with honors." - Karmel, graduate from Palestine Polytechnic University

These are just a few of the lives you have changed by supporting the scholarship project. All of MECA's staff join these students in thanking you for your support.

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Thanks to your support and donations from other scholarship donors, MECA was able to provide 100 full and partial scholarships to students studying at nine different Palestinian universities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Areen, a freshman at Bethlehem Unviersity studying English, writes: "Everyone is born with a dream, and my dream since I was a child to be someone who is active in improving and strengthening my community. English is a global language and will open the door to many routes in the future." 

These 100 students are studying to be nurses, accountants, teachers, pharmacists, lawyers, and more!

Thank you for supporting these bright young students to continue their education!

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Omar is on his way to becoming a doctor!
Omar is on his way to becoming a doctor!

Omar is one of many remarkable students that your donations to the scholarship project supportsd. He has overcome many challenges to continue his education and we look forward to seeing what he accomplishes in the future!

Omar is a medical student with a passion for learning. His family's house in Rafah, Gaza was demolished in the recent Israeli aggression on Gaza in 2014 and they had to rent a small house. He explains: "One of the things that negatively impacted my university studies is that I live in a crowded house. I do not have a private room, this causes a nice brawl between me and my brothers about turning on and off the room light especially that I need to study for a long time at night."

During his second year at the university, Omar was diagnosed with cancer. "It was the hardest situation when I knew that I had cancer. Really it was a shock to me and my family. I stopped my studies, which I love, and traveled for treatment because there is no cure for cancer in the Gaza Strip."

After one year of treatment in different hospitals, Omar recovered partially and returned to Gaza to study then applied for MECA scholarship and he was accepted.

"Being a doctor was my childhood dream. I decided to struggle to achieve my dream and fight the disease scientifically. I work hard in hopes of going far in my medical career and getting an opportunity to apply for medical researches in high quality hospitals. I am particularly interested in cardiovascular medicine and hope to do postgraduate studies in this field."

Omar continues, "MECA scholarship supported me at the right time when I was suffering from cancer. This grant lowered the psychological and financial burden on my family; especially that the fees of the medicine faculty is the highest, the transportation from Rafah to Gaza where I study is expensive and tiring, and the books need extra expenses. The importance of MECA scholarship is not just that, but this grant has also given me a hope in a bright future and informed me that there are people who feel me and try to help me. So I am very thankful and grateful for MECA supporters and MECA team in Gaza."

Thank you again for your support of this important project!

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Organization Information

Middle East Children's Alliance

Location: Berkeley, CA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @MECAforPeace
Project Leader:
Josie Shields-Stromsness
Berkeley, CA United States
$13,124 raised of $15,000 goal
250 donations
$1,876 to go
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