Dr Anas’ journey to Gaza in June 2019 to help examine the medical students at the Islamic University of Gaza.
“Being a British trained doctor of Palestinian heritage, I have always wanted to travel to Palestine and contribute to its healthcare. Travelling with me was the FQMS Chairman, Khaled Dawas, and Oxford surgeon, Nick Maynard. Both of them were remarkable characters with a lot of connections and experiences in Gaza.
Arriving into the Gaza Strip was quite a surreal experience. It would be too easy to describe the hardship and difficulty of the lives of the people there. I suspect many of us would have read and seen it all before, such that we’ve become numb and inure to it. Rather what I wish to describe was what I didn’t expect from my visit there.
In spite of the adverse conditions people find themselves in, there was an atmosphere of community, drive and indomitable resilience. This was exemplified with the students and faculty at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG).
When it comes to final year exams, I often find that medical students become visibly nervous especially when I put on my expressionless poker face. Rather I was left in awe of the IUG students’ near textbook knowledge and ability to give it their best under exam conditions.
None of the opportunities and experiences afforded to these students at the IUG would have been possible were it not for the work of its dedicated faculty. Key amongst them is Dr Anwar Al Shaikh Khalil, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.
FQMS has also done its part as the fruits of its funding are visible in the many resources and facilities used in the medical school. This should give its patrons a great source of pride and reason to continue their support!”