Thank you to everyone who joined us at the FQMS Gala Dinner on Saturday 7th March 2020 at the InterContinental Hotel Park Lane. We didn’t realise it at the time, but the date proved to be quite lucky as the whole UK started to shutdown the following week due to the Covid-19 virus. We raised around £100,000.
Many of you commented that FQMS Gala Dinner 2020 was a highly enjoyable evening with speeches that were both enjoyable and touching from Laila el-Haddad (Author), Imran Yusuf (Comedian) His Excellency Ambassador Husam Zomlot and Dr Hani Abdeen (Dean of Al Quds Medical School) .
With Rima’s help, we had a sale table and a tombola with lots of high-quality prizes. Altogether we raised over £1,500.
We were lucky enough to have Dr Khamis Elessi, a Consultant in Neurorehabilitation and Pain Medicine in Gaza, attend our Garden Party. FQMS had supported his attendance at a conference in Oxford. Although problems with crossing at Rafah meant he missed all but the last day of the conference, he has talks scheduled at various hospitals before he returns to Gaza.
Our guests also got to talk with one of our trainees, Dr Maha Akkawi, and her family attend. For the last 2.5 years, Maha was training in haemato-oncopathology in Southmead Hospital, Bristol. She is about to return to Nablus, where she will be teaching and practising medicine at An Najah University.
To see more photos of our event by Antony Bennison, please go to our Facebook page. Please contact us, if you would like your photo to be removed.
As Gazans, we wake up every day trying to find hope in the little things around us; we count any remaining blessings in our life and try to manage everything in any possible way.
As a medical student living in Gaza where there has been an on-going hard socio-economic crisis for a couple of years now, my family and I have been facing many hardships in covering the university fees and the expenses of studying medicine.
However, last year my blessings increased by one; which is FQMS; they took my circumstances into consideration and offered help whenever possible, they have helped me twice so far to pay my university debts and get the chance to do my exams and receive my scores.
No words could ever explain how much I am grateful and blessed for their continuous care, support, and consideration of my circumstances. Without FQMS support indeed I would never have walked my educational journey in Medicine School with confidence and comfort.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for a wonderful evening on Saturday 23rd March 2019 at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower. We raised around £90,000.
Many of you have commented that it was our most enjoyable dinner yet and this was in large part to our speeches from Baroness Tonge, His Excellency Ambassador Husam Zomlot and Dr Khalil Issa (Dean of An Najah Medical School).
As well as performances by Hawiyya Dabke Company (Palestinian folk dance), Layth Hanbali on the piano and singer Mary Lundie accompanied on the piano by Matt Mellor.
As with previous years, we had a fantastic selection of items in our sale table, raffle thanks to Rima’s hard work. We also had a varied selection of items for our auction.
Thank you so much to everyone who came to our Poster Exhibition and Sale.
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 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. 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. I 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.
Thank you to everyone who joined us on Friday 20th April 2018 at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower for a wonderful evening, where we raised around £127,000.
We heard inspiring speeches from Farah Nabulsi, filmmaker, who draws attention to the on-going injustices faced by Palestinians through her films, and Nick Maynard, a surgeon who frequently teaches in Gaza.
We were graced with delightful performances by Syrian singer Omran Zain accompanied on the oud by Basel Saleh, Khaled Al-Bashir, on the oud, and Hassan Rahhal, on the qanoun and singer Imogen Halsey accompanied on the piano by Harry Style.
Major thanks to the businesses and individuals, like Manchester United FC, who supported our fundraising efforts by donating items towards our silent auction and raffle. See below for the full list:
Read about the Oxford medics trip to Gaza in 2017, to examine students at IUG and Al Azhar:
“On 21st October 2017, 12 doctors from Oxford left Luton Airport for our ninth teaching trip to the Palestinian Territories, and our 5th teaching trip to Gaza.
Our party comprised:
After an overnight stop in Ashdod, we crossed Erez easily and were met by Fadel Naim (Dean of IUG) and Ibrahim Abu Hassanain, our lead Teaching Assistant for the week.
Training the trainers
We went to the University to meet the President of the University. We had arranged to spend some time with the Teaching Assistants for the week. Later that afternoon all the IUG Teaching Assistants and three of the Al Azhar Teaching Assistants joined us at the hotel for a terrific session of “Training the Trainers”. This was run by Bex Ingliss, one of the Oxford Teachers, and was a great addition to our Teaching Week. The appointment of Teaching Assistants by the Universities over the last few years has improved the clinical student teaching significantly. We are very hopeful that the Training the Trainers half day with us will enable them to improve their teaching skills yet further. It has been very noticeable to us that the bedside skills of students have improved hugely over the last 2-3 years.
On the Wednesday evening, we had a great time hearing the best audit presentations by the students. We were enormously impressed by the quality of the audits. A prize was awarded to the winner, but we all agreed the standard was exceptional. We also contributed to an excellent Surgical Conference where the Oxford Surgeons spoke on a variety of subjects. It was an opportunity to share surgical experiences and meet old friends, and was a very enjoyable evening.
As always we received the most wonderful hospitality during our week, usually centred on magnificent food. Although there were, as always, many demands on our time, we never lost sight of the main purpose of our trip – to teach the clinical medical students. It is wonderful to see students we have taught in previous years now working as junior doctors. They are still as enthusiastic as they were when they were students, and planning their future careers. There are well advanced for our next trip in November 2018. Although the trips are partly self-funded we are extremely grateful to FQMS for the financial support we receive for this trip.”