Chairman’s update April 2020

Has it really only been just over 4 weeks since the FQMS Annual Gala Dinner? So much has changed since then. Read the Chairman’s update April 2020:

Gala dinner audience

The dinner on the 7th March was much fun and Anjum Misbahuddin and the other committee members succeeded inn organising a varied and lively programme. The Ambassador Dr Husam Zomlot gave a short word followed by summary of the state of medical education and needs in Palestine by Dr Hani Abdeen, Dean of the Al Quds Medical School.  Laila el-Haddad, the Gaza-born keynote speaker, gave an inspiring and clear message about ambition and achievement. She travelled from the USA specifically for the evening and we are grateful for the time and effort she put into this.

Imran Yusuf was our celebrity comedian. He won over even more fans with his poignant and cutting humour. As a longstanding loyal and generous supporter of our charity, Najy Nasser was awarded this year’s “Major Benefactor Award”.  The evening was wrapped up by Hawiyya and the ever popular dabke folk dance with many joining in. 

The city theme this year was “Gaza”. Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell were very kind in allowing us to use clips of their fantastic film “Gaza“. Gaza is particularly prone to the disastrous effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with its poor healthcare and the siege restricting movement and trade between it and the rest of the World. Access to intensive care and other hospital facilities are very limited and the health of the average Palestinian in Gaza has been weakened by years of poverty and deprivation.

The dinner raised about £100,000. Thank you to all of you. The attendance numbers were certainly hit by the COVID-19 concerns though this was at an early stage then. FQMS expects that this will affect its ability to fund all the projects we had planned. The level of poverty and deprivation will increase dramatically in light of the economic situation affecting everyone. The travel restrictions imposed as a result of COVID-19 mean that students will not be able to travel for their international training electives. The FQMS trustees therefore propose to divert the electives funds to bursaries this year.

I look forward to seeing you on the other side of this crisis. If you are able to, please consider helping FQMS with more donations to help with bursaries for students whose families will struggle even more than usual to fund their education.