Access to education is a basic human right, recognized by Article 26 of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today, university students in Gaza and the West Bank are not able to fully exercise their right to an education. During the 22 day war on Gaza in 2008/2009, code named Operation Cast Lead, schools and universities were bombed and destroyed.
The stifling blockade on Gaza prohibits the entry of building material, which has prevented the reconstruction or repair of these structures. The blockade deprives students and teachers of some of the basic necessities that no educational institute can do without. It is an emotionally challenging environment in which to learn.
To ensure that university students in Gaza and the West Bank will have the freedom to pursue a quality education without the danger of conflict or the torment of occupation, students around the world spearheaded the Al Fakhoora campaign. Since its conception, Al Fakhoora has grown from a student led campaign to an organization providing an holistic support system to the higher educational infrastructure in Gaza. The student body however remains active in engaging the community and trail blazing advocacy.
Al Fakhoora, takes its name from a UN school in Gaza's Jabaliya refugee camp that was the scene of an attack by Israeli tank shells in 2009. The attack resulted in at least 43 fatalities which included children and 100 injuries. The school was being used as a shelter for those fleeing hostilities. This symbolism of Al Fakhoora as a refuge and place for compassion and care is very significant to us and is mirrored in the support of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser, UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education.
Join us on Facebook and follow us on twitter, and take action today by signing our Declaration or sending a message to a student in Gaza . Spread the word by forwarding a link to a friend or family member. We believe that students and young people across the globe have the power to create meaningful social change. Take your place and be the change.
The right to a quality education can bridge the gap between different cultures. The values of liberty, justice and equality cannot exist without the right to an education. Ignorance is by far the biggest danger and threat to humankind.
There’s a place in this campaign for all people who believe in the values of freedom, justice and mutual respect. Regardless of faith, race or nationality, we are tied together by the fundamental belief that young people everywhere, including those living in Gaza and the West Bank, deserve the freedom to learn.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grassrootsinternational/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0