Thank you so much to everyone who came to our Political Poster event!
We raised just over £1,400 with the help of the University of Essex Palestinian Solidarity Group and Jess Twyman! A big thank you to Diana YuFei for playing the beautiful Chinese Harp and to Jake Deemer-Evans for all the photography taken.
I am Mahmoud, a 6th year medical student from Jenin. This is my 3rd year using the flats. In my personal experience, living away from my family proved to be difficult at first, but being able to stay at the flats with my fellow colleagues and friends really helped me in my studies, I was less homesick when surrounded by students who are also far away from their families. It is always better to wake up at 7:30 to reach the hospital than having to wake up at 5 or even 4 am in order to make it on time! This way I have more energy and I am more focused.
I am Sundus, a 4th year medical student from Tubas. This is my first week at the Hebron flats, I am so excited to be part of this experience as I always heard my older friends talking about how they make study groups, cook and go to hospitals together. I submitted an electronic form to the accommodation committee and they found accommodation for me for the bridging month rotation. Tubas is very far away and I always wanted to experience the teaching methods in Hebron hospitals so I am very glad, but we are increasing in numbers and we need more rooms. This year was really crowded, as more students needed accommodation.
I’m Bahera, a recent medical graduate from Bethlehem. I used the Ramallah flats for 3 consecutive years. I am so grateful to have been able to find a place where I can study and attend the medical rotations of my choice without having to worry about wasting time and money in transportation each day. I made a lot of friends from different year levels. Our requests were always met and whatever problem we faced we always found help.
I am thrilled to tell you about an event which I organized together with two other mentees from Palestine, Asma and Shahed. We decided to host a volunteering activity to bring mentees together around a good cause. In particular, we volunteered to help children who are going through cancer. This is the first of a series of social activities which we will organize in Palestine.
We enjoy playing, dancing and singing with 20 children with cancer. Our goal was to make the children happy and to bring a smile to their faces. In addition to offering moral support to the children, we also provided material support by offering breakfast to the patients. We really enjoyed our time with them and we are proud that we succeeded in lifting their spirits.
Simulation training offers the learner an opportunity to develop and enhance skills that are necessary for use in clinical practice.
In the Faculty of Medicine of the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), students regularly train and learn in the clinical skills laboratory. More than 400 students from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 benefit from this opportunity on several occasions each year.
Students in Year 3 learn and practice basic nursing and medical skills such as intravenous cannulation, blood taking, blood pressure measurements or intramuscular injections. Use of the skills lab in Year 4 focuses on training in medical examination skills, as well as more advanced practices, such as urinary catheterisation, lumbar puncture or placing chest drains. For Year 5 and 6, the skills laboratory is used for training in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, more advanced emergency, surgical and medical skills as well as advanced adult, paediatric and neonatal life support skills.
A further important aspect of the clinical skills laboratory is that it offers the opportunity to practice teamwork skills in order to work together to achieve one common goal. Therefore, regular simulation teaching with clinical scenarios also take place in the skills laboratory.
Finally, the skills laboratory is used for clinical examination purposes from Year 3 through to Year 6, where OSCE style examinations are conducted within the clinical skills laboratory.
Many thanks to FQMS for funding the purchase of the needed equipment in the skill lab on behalf of the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG). These models will be used all year round for training the medical students in most of the courses, and examining the student’s skills during OSCE examination.
Dr Anwar Alshaikhkhalil
Vice-Dean, Faculty of Medicine,
Islamic University of Gaza
Al Quds Medical School (AQU), established in 1994 as the first Palestinian medical school was deficient in cadavers for Anatomy teaching. This stems from cultural norms which prohibit cadaveric dissection.
Accordingly, AQU resorted to computer-assisted learning (CAL) in this topic and the use of diverse mannequins and models that match human anatomy topography. Procurement was not possible due to the prohibitive cost. Luckily, and with the kind assistance of FQMS we managed to buy the initial batch of Anatomy manikins which served our Anatomy instruction till 2013, when the yearly intake of the medical school was around 60 students.
In 2013, the policy of the university made it imperative to increase the number of new enrollees to 150 and thereafter by yearly increments of 40, until we reached an intake of 300 students in 2017.
This imposed a heavy burden on our Anatomy facility coupled with the fact that many of the original models became useless from wear and tear over the years.
This necessitated the Faculty to establish a new Anatomy lab to accommodate the increased number of students and to replace a lot of the old models acquired since 1994. Again, FQMS has miraculously come to our assistance by approving the purchase of new Anatomy models to equip the new lab.
The list of Anatomy models covered all the body parts and musculoskeletal bone structure. Without this new facility, the medical school would have found it difficult to teach the practical component of Anatomy discipline and this would have jeopardised the delivery quality of our curriculum.
In addition, the medical faculty delivers Anatomy teaching to Dental, Pharmacy and Nursing students thus putting a great burden and intense need for a second Anatomy lab with the installation of new purchased Anatomy items.
I have to register my sincere thanks and great appreciation for the assistance FQMS has provided and is still sustaining this help to AQU. Without this ironclad support Al Quds Medical School mission would have been hampered immensely.
Hani Abdeen BM. FRCP (UK). FCCP
Dean SoM Al-Quds University
Abu Deis – Jerusalem East
My name is Faiza, a 19-year-old Palestinian girl from Gaza, I am about to complete my second year at the General Medicine faculty of Al Azhar University of Gaza. My dream to become a doctor was guided by my full awareness that it is a noble profession for serving humanity and the world we live in. I worked hard throughout my school years and graduated high school with a GPA of 98.8% and started my journey at the Medicine college in 2016, acknowledging that medicine is a field that demands both hard work and good financial status.
Thankfully, my parents have supported my dream regardless the burden of my education costs, as they were both employed, working only to provide my four siblings and me a good life and quality education. It was all good until last year when unfortunately my mum lost her job which timed with the worsening of the situation in Gaza and my dad stopped receiving his full paycheque. My parents started to suffer, no longer able to pay the requested tuition and I became seriously worried of the possibility that I might not be able to enter my final semester exams nor register for the summer courses of 2018.
I started to look for donations and sponsors, until I was referred to FQMS. I wrote them an e-mail asking for support. I cannot describe the feeling of knowing that there is finally someone there to help. I was able to enter my semester final exams and put all my focus into doing well and raising my GPA, and I passed all my courses with great marks and I got the highest GPA since the beginning of my study here in Al Azhar!
I would like to thank FQMS for their support and kind consideration of my status, no words could ever explain the joy and gratefulness my family and I had when I received that email, not everyone can realise what blessing it is to suddenly and out of nowhere have a major crisis worked out. I cannot spoil the moment by thinking of the burden of the coming year’s tuition, as we must always believe that there is always a window of hope.
I decided to study medicine at university, because being a doctor means the future is full of hope, the hope that I can give it to people and make them suffer less from their diseases or injuries. Once I achieve my degree and my internship in Gaza, I will specialise in brain surgeon. It’s a specialty that can help people here in Gaza, because people often have to travel to receive treatment and while people waiting for referrals and visas the diseases can get worse. I want do research and studies that related to this field and try to add something to it, something that will make the humanity suffer less and giving it the hope.
Unfortunately last year, my father died leaving me and my mother and 3 brothers. We live in a rented house, neither my brothers nor me nor my mother work and the only source of income is my father salary from the government. Two of us are studying at IUG and the other two are still at school. The tuition fees are very expensive and I was worried that maybe I could not continue with my dream of becoming a doctor.
Thank you for this money. We are all so happy that I was chosen. It helped me to enrol for the next semester at IUG, helping me to continue my way to becoming a doctor.
We partner with The Madrinha Trust on undergraduate scholarship. Since this partnership began, they have sponsored 15 of our students, 5 of which have graduated and are now working in Palestine.
This event was aimed at updating everyone on how the mentees were doing and demonstrating the success of their new buddying-up scheme, which adds another layer of support for the students by partnering them with former mentees. Both the mentees and the buddies offer vital support, giving the mentees confidence to thrive.
I had a real problem when I wanted to leave Gaza. The beginning date of my training in the USA was 1st July, but I couldn’t leave Gaza before the middle of August because Rafah was closed. I tried to book another time for my training, but unfortunately it was only for two weeks in the second half of September.
Going to the USA was a great experience for me. I had the chance to share cultures, experiences and knowledge with people of various cultures, beliefs and environment. I also had the chance to participate in the community activities.
During my training in one of the biggest universities in the USA, I was able to meet a great team of plastic surgeons. They taught me many new skills in surgery. I had the opportunity to work with advanced surgical equipment, which I have never seen before in Gaza. As you know, we have very bad medical and economic circumstances here in Gaza, as a result of continuous 12 years of siege.
The biggest problem I had was crossing borders, which are closed most of the time. It meant that I had to wait in Jordan for a month and a half after my elective in the USA for Rafah to open and was late starting my final year at university. That was enough to turn me upset.
However, I could fight until I achieve one of my dreams. I am so proud of my work. Luckily, I was able to extend my elective for two weeks at the University of Jordan and another two weeks at King Hussein Cancer Centre.
At the end, I am really thankful for the FQMS for their continuous support. They were keen to fund my route to the USA. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to do my elective. I am so grateful for all those who have been eminent milestones guiding me to my dream, especially my university, IUG.