Chairman’s Update December 2020

Christmas Palestine

“A merry Christmas to you. It is very easy to feel jaded and cynical about the end of this year and the advent of next. Everything comes to an end. With every hardship comes a new horizon. Of that I am 100% confident.

At FQMS we managed to safely navigate March and snuck in with our gala dinner. It was very successful though attendance was expectedly hit by the early worries about COVID19. From our point of view as trustees it has been a very interesting 9 months. We have learned a lot and the constant ducking and diving to navigate the exposed manholes of the pandemic kept us on our toes. Rita, our devoted and excellent operations manager was furloughed for many months as we were unable to conduct any real fundraising activities.

Our main concern is always the beneficiaries of your generous donations. Palestinian medical schools shut as did most around the world. The difference in Palestine is the inability of the average person to rely on state help. Occupation limits freedom and ability to earn. In Gaza the wretched siege exacerbated many people’s miserable lives further. We diverted some of our funds to cover the tuition fees. Thus students did not have to incur more debt and the fees received helped pay the salaries of their teachers and trainers so they can survive easier.

You know about our upcoming webinars. The first one is on 16th January. We are jumping with joy that Professor Jim Al Khalili agreed to address our guests. I spoke to Jim and was struck by his humility and grace. Professor Hani Abdeen, the Al Quds Medical School dean will also give a real life portrayal of the medical school. We will also be joined by recent graduates from the school and you will get a very good picture of life there.

Please donate in advance if you can. We are pragmatic and appreciate that many of you may be stretched more than usual this year. If you are considering making charitable donations please keep FQMS in mind. The Trustees are working hard trying to approach donors.

We all wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

See you on January 16th at 6pm.”

Khaled Dawas