Home القضايا المدنية Oops, I did it again

Oops, I did it again

by Afaf Ahmed
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Oops, I did it again

What is it like to be a student in Gaza?

As a person who studied abroad and came back to study in the Gaza Strip, I can confidently say that studying here is nothing like studying anywhere else. Or maybe I just had the most unusual experience of being a student in this small enclave. 

I came back to Gaza from a 7-year-old travel journey in 2018, I was in grade 11 and had no idea what studying in governmental schools was like. To no one’s surprise, I was shocked. I faced a strong cultural shock. After studying in a class of only 20 students max, I was placed in a room of more than 50 girls studying at the same time. Having to sit in rows of three and sometimes more at one table and hearing noises I can’t even explain. The cold in winter was unbearable and the hot in summer melted us literally. 

After graduating from high school, I started looking for the best university to study in. I knew what major I wanted and was so excited to pursue it, but that was a dream that wouldn’t come true. I studied entrepreneurship stream in high school, and that means I can study any major I want except for science majors. I wanted to study international relations but it wasn’t available in Gaza. Yet, a major called international law was available, and in English. It was perfect. When I went to the university to apply for that, I was shocked by new regulations that stated I cant study the major I want because I studied business in high school.

After the shock, I decided to study English Literature and study international relations for my master’s degree. A planning gal is a successful one. 

I applied to the Islamic university and got accepted, after my first year my dad decided to change my university for financial reasons. So, I became an official student at Al Aqsa University. I studied for only one semester there, and then I couldn’t take it any longer. The environment was very different. In the summer break, I applied to a university in Turkey, and got a full scholarship, but was denied traveling permits. So I decided to go back to the Islamic University, which means one semester had gone to waste. 

The Islamic University, in my humble opinion, is the best university in the Gaza Strip. From the staff to the faculty, to the quality of education and the level of competition, as well as the many programs and chances it offers its students. It gives an awesome experience being a student there. 

After going back to the Islamic university, I changed my major, again. I started studying economics, and that’s when I got a job. Suddenly, I had only 50% of my focus going to school, so I realized economics wasn’t for me anymore. I changed back to English Literature and now studying that. But who knows, maybe I’ll change again?

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