My friends and I participated in a summer program to study Math and English preparing for our coming exams. The programme organized a “Major Fair Day” where there were a lot of students who got scholarships and are still studying or have already been graduated in the american universities in Lebanon (AUB and LAU) or other universities abroad. Most of these students were palestinans.
I went and talked to two students who are studying Architecture at LAU. One of them told me that because he’s palestinian, he’s not able to write his name on his designs and drawings and he should ask to a Lebanese man to put his signature on them and this man will take more money than the effective owner.
Moreover if he wants to open a company (like his sister’s husband), he’s going to make a deal with a Lebanese man who will agree to take 51% of the profit of the company giving the palestinian just the 49%. Inspite of this he likes what he’s studying because he has chosen his major based on passion.
Also, I talked to two youngs studying Civil Engineering. They both told me that they have to work with Lebanese men who will take more money than them because as Palestinians they aren’t able to put their own signatures on any paper related to their work. However they-re still determined to become civil engineers.
In addition, I talked to a young boy and two young girls who are studying Medicine. They told me that if you want to study Medicine at AUB, you have to study three years as premedical years at first and you can get a scholarship for this. Then, you have to do the MCAT exam and get at least 3.2 over 4 and do an interview to have the chance to be selected in the medical school.
However, granting an interview does not necessarily imply that the applicant will be selected. Students are accepted to medical school on the base of their academic qualifications, their MCAT score and the results of their interview. One of this students did really well and was selected to study medicine at AUB. This was before most associations decided not to give Palestinians a scholarship to study medicine. Because it-s so expensive and Palestinians are not able to open clinics at least.
However, since it is a kind of risk to study medicine in Lebanon, two of this students preferred to get a scholarship to study in Turkey because they don’t see themselves doing anything other than doctors.
Finally, I talked to a nurse. He told me that he isn-t able to work in every hospital because some of them don’t accept palestinan workers.
Despite this, he is still determined to be a nurse since he likes helping others.
Now what I’m still remembering is that hope, will and ambitions I saw in their eyes were greater than any other thing.
Palestinians need always to stay ambitious and never give up.
One day, they’ll prove to the whole world who they are and how they are able to achieve their goals and follow their dreams.
One day, the miracle will happen and all bad stuff will be inevitably changed.
Alaa Ali Rmayyed – 16 years old
AUB: American University of Beirut
LAU: Lebanese American University