2023/24 – Gazan medical students stranded abroad

FQMS is assisting medical students from Al-Azhar University and the Islamic University of Gaza who have been stranded abroad due to the war on Gaza. These students are provided with financial assistance to cover their living expenses until the war ends. We have collected testimonials from these students who told us their heartbreaking stories and experiences.

If you are a stranded student from Gaza experiencing similar circumstances, please complete this form. Click Here

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Testimonials

1. Testimonial from IFMSA

“We extend our gratitude for your continuous support to medical students and the healthcare sector in Palestine, especially during these challenging times we are currently facing.”

IFMSA- Gaza

2. Testimonial from Jamila

“I am a fifth-year medical student at Al-Azhar University, Gaza, Palestine. In October 2023, I completed my elective internship programme in the Surgery-Orthopaedics department at Yozgat Bozok University Hospital. As a medical student, I have always wanted to change, inspire, and improve in my pathway vision chapter within the core values I believe in. I was interested in going out and embarking on this opportunity, to discover other medical health education systems. Sadly, after one week, all my feelings changed. When the Israeli occupation started the genocide against my beloved people in Gaza, targeting our safe places and civilians and killing life in Gaza, they turned my lovely city into demolished areas by destroying my home, medical school, hospitals, mosques, churches, and all basic elements of life (electricity, water supplies, and food storage). I can’t listen to my family’s voices, It’s aching and horrible feeling to think that you might lose one of your precious people at any moment while I am stuck here.

Despite that, I completed my internship programme, and the war is not finished. I can’t return home, the border is closed, and there is no way to go until the ceasefire stops. I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to FQMS, for supporting me financially and covering my needs during this catastrophic time. This is while I can’t contact my family and friends in Gaza.”

Jamila

3. Testimonial from Ghadir

“Hello, I am a fifth-year medical student at Al-Azhar University of Palestine. Last October, I embarked on my public health internship at the Public Health Authority of Heidelberg City in Germany “Landratsamt Rhein-Neckar-Kreis”. I was very excited to get through this completely different opportunity. This was a crucial step into my future as a promising medical student working on improving her possibilities. Unfortunately, this enthusiasm disappeared directly after the 2nd week of my internship when the Israeli Occupation Forces started bombing my beloved people in Gaza, targeting our safe places and civilians. They destroyed my medical school. They bomb all forms and elements of life (safe homes, hospitals, mosques, churches and even our only remaining water supplies). Every day the situation gets more dire and is exacerbated by the catastrophic siege. This leaves my people in Gaza without their essential resources, water, food, fuel, electricity, medical supplies and drugs. I barely contact my family every other day. They texted to say that they were still alive. It’s a horrible feeling to be far away from your home while your lovely family, friends and all the innocent people live under continuous bombing. Though I have completed my internship, I can’t return to Gaza until the ceasefire is established. I am grateful to FQMS for covering our needs by providing financial support during this challenging time. We cannot reach our families for support”.

Ghadir

4. Testimonial from Hanan

“I finished my master’s degree in the UK in September. I augmented my knowledge of public health and improved the healthcare system. I was excited to graduate in October and then go back home to celebrate with loved ones and make a change in Gaza’s health. Gaza, however, was the first site of the deadly attack. I kept stuck in the UK losing the connection with my family. FQMS support helps me afford the costs and tough times here. Thanks for all your tireless efforts.”

Hanan

5. Testimonial from Heba

“I am a fifth-year medical student at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. I had the opportunity through October 2023 to do a clinical clerkship at the Gynecology and Obstetrics department in Göttingen, Germany.  It started pretty nice and exciting, and I could learn and experience something new each day. My day started at 7:30 with the morning meeting and morning round and ended at 4 pm. Dividing my days throughout the month between engaging stational work, clinic work and the operation theaters. The supervising doctors, and the chief of a particular department, Prof. Dr. Med. Gallwas, were very helpful. She was very welcoming and allowed me to assist her in several unique operations. It was a remarkable time.

I feel that I learned a lot and gained a better understanding of how I could apply knowledge and innovation methods to our healthcare system. This is because in the end, it is the little things that make a huge difference. Göttingen also was one of the loveliest and most comfortable cities I’ve ever visited. However the war on Gaza started and I got very exhausted mentally through having my thoughts always with my family and people in Gaza. My clerkship ended successfully but I couldn’t fly back to my beloved Gaza as the war and destruction were still ongoing, as well as the closed borders.

That’s where I got in contact with FQMS. Their fast and immediate generous support means a lot to me. I want to express my deepest gratitude for their helping hand. I wish, at this moment, I could write this testimonial under better circumstances. However, just a week ago I lost 5 close members of my family; my grandparents and my 3 uncles while they shelter at their restaurant Italiano. Learn more about them and their story. I’m hoping for a soon end and that FQMS keeps supporting students through their careers wherever they can, especially in difficult times”. 

Heba

6. Testimonial from Yara

“Dear reader, allow me to share a chapter of my life with you. I am Yara, a 22-year-old medical student at Al-Azhar University, Gaza. Born and raised in Gaza, I survived 5 wars and many escalations. However, I have always believed in peace and hope that one day I will see my beautiful Gaza as one of the leading cities in Palestine. On September 2019 my journey in medical school started, that’s when I knew that reaching a dream is nothing but the start on a new one. After 4 years of medical school, the opportunity to participate in an internship in Italy was envisioned as the dawn of my new dream.

After a lot of hard work and ups and downs I made it to Italy on the 1st of October 2023. Not knowing that within a week, my world would take an unforeseen turn. The echoes of Gaza’s genocide transformed my aspirations into despair fragments. Profound are the losses experienced—separation from family, loss of friends and professors, and the cherished landscapes that once defined my world. Communication limitations have intensified this isolation. As I am unable to contact them daily, and if I am lucky enough, I receive a short call or message from my dad telling me that they are still alive.

As I embark on the journey to rebuild dreams shattered in the blink of an eye, this odyssey underscores a profound truth — in the darkest moments, compassion and support endure. FQMS, your significant help that of a charitable entity was as we say “the light you find at the end of the tunnel”. Thank you for your help in these difficult times. Thank you for always being there for us as medical students. Thank you for reviving my faith in humanity. With sincere appreciation.”

yARA

Find out how Yara experienced this difficult time in her detailed testimony published in the Citizen.


7. Testimonial from Omar

“My name is Omar, and I am a medical student at Al-Azhar university from Gaza, currently in Jordan for a short-term training period. Unfortunately, due to the recent aggression on Gaza, I find myself unable to return home and facing significant challenges in covering basic living expenses. I am writing to express my deepest gratitude for FQMS’ invaluable support. The financial assistance I received covered essential living expenses, including food, clothing, medicine and other basic necessities. Your support allows me to focus on my medical training and overcome the obstacles presented by the current situation. I am committed to completing my training and returning to contribute to my community as soon as conditions permit. Thank you again for your unwavering support during these challenging times. Your foundation’s assistance has made a significant and positive impact on my journey, and I am truly grateful. Sincerely,”

OMAR

8. Testimonial from Hamza

“On June 26th 2023, a new chapter began in my life as I finished my last year of medical school. I have always had aspirations to travel overseas to Germany to get my higher education and speciality to help my people as far as I can. Therefore, I have worked tirelessly to learn German during my last year at university along with studying for my 6th year exams. I didn’t hesitate to travel to Germany to train in the Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery department at UKSH in Kiel, Germany. I also finished all the language requirements to work in Germany. I planned to return to Gaza to continue my internship year in late November. 

Unfortunately my plan was severely interrupted by the ongoing war on Gaza. This was because it was very difficult to concentrate on my goals while I had never-ending fear and anxiety for my family. This was the first war to occur and I am not in Gaza. I felt safe, but for the first time in my life, I didn’t want to feel safe, I was more terrified of being safe. I wanted to be with my family, even if that means we are in danger. I wanted to be in Al-Shifa Hospital where I have worked previously with other colleagues in Emergency department, I wished if I could help save someone’s life. But I felt powerless. Since the war started It was very hard every time I texted my family and I didn’t get a reply back due to cut of internet and electricity from the strip as I didn’t know if they are alive or under the rubbles. My eyes couldn’t sleep in peace, knowing that my family, beloved ones, and people are filled with fear and horror. The air strikes have killed 15 members of my extended family, including my grandfather and two uncles, during this war. Moreover, my house was also severely damaged due to bombings near it.

It was impossible to live life normally, but I was determined that I had to work hard to achieve the goals I traveled for. I successfully passed the B2 language exam and internship. I was very thankful when FQMS reached out to all medical students stranded outside of Gaza to support them financially during this difficult period. Their efforts, support, and care left an unforgettable feeling that we were not alone through this! Supportive efforts in the right direction at the right time. I pray every day that the war and killing machine on my people stops. We have already lost so many valuable lives. My kindest regards,”

Learn more about Hamza in Arabic and German.

Hamza

9- Testimonial from Hamza

“I’m an Al-Azhar University medical student in my sixth year. Since I began attending school, I have been searching for training opportunities outside of the beleaguered Gaza Strip. I have been looking for opportunities to practise medicine in the European Union since my first year of college. Finally, in Tampere, Finland, the northernmost city in Europe, I recently participated in an elective programme at Tays Hospital.

My heart felt different when I got to Finland. It was my first trip away from Gaza, so I quickly adjusted to the cold weather. But three days later, because of what transpired on October 7, my happiness at getting out of Gaza was incomplete. My focus was taken away from the horrible conflict in the Gaza Strip because I was preoccupied with concerns about my friends and family. As a result, the FQMS course was created. This promptly assisted me and made sure I had everything I needed to finish my student exchange programme. In the end, I completed the student exchange program and joined another gastroenterology programme, thanks to the FQMS Foundation. During this period, they helped me accomplish everything I brought.

We in Palestine and Gaza do not have enough funds to cover such travels due to lack of salaries and support. The assistance helped me encounter different cultures and people, while expanding my medical knowledge and life skills. This was particularly during this difficult period due to the conflict in Gaza.”

Hamza

10- Testimonial from Alaa

“It was a normal day when I was off to university as usual when the unfortunate war happened changing everything we ever knew to destruction. The escalating situation took a toll on us physically, mentally, and financially. Fortunately, I fled the ongoing conflict, yet my heart remains deeply connected to the people of Gaza. As a fourth-year medical student, I believe this challenging time calls for my commitment more than ever. Completing my studies feels not just like a personal goal but an urgent responsibility to serve my community. I will forever be grateful to FQMS for their unwavering support during these trying times. Their assistance has been invaluable, helping me through these challenging times, and giving me hope to continue.  My ultimate aspiration is to pay this generosity forward and become a source of aid for those in need. FQMS’ support has inspired me to strive for a future where I, too, can offer help and support to others.”

Alaa


Please keep donating and supporting Palestinian medical students.

Your contribution directly impacts the education, training, and development of these aspiring healthcare professionals, enabling them to provide quality healthcare services to the Palestinians.

Together, we can continue to make a difference.

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