Gazan Students Denied U.S. Scholarships

What would you do if you were denied your right to study abroad?

A news report from Al Jazeera English last week showed the plight of a group of Palestinian students from Gaza who were prevented from leaving the country to accept scholarships in the United States - at the last minute, no less.

According to this video, a Hamas official claims they were not allowed to travel to the U.S. for a couple of reasons but, mainly, because the organization providing the scholarships, AMIDEAST, would not provide a chaperone. In the words of the official, "they are too young and America has a lot of crime and murder." This is the first time AMIDEAST scholarships for study abroad in the U.S. have been denied by the Hamas government.

When the video was posted a week ago, it was noted that if the students don't arrive in the U.S. by Sept. 5, their spots would be given away. There's no word as of today on what happened, but we certainly hope they were able to make it abroad.

It's certainly awful to hear of students who are bright, worked hard and wanted to continue their education abroad but who were denied from doing so for, essentially, bureaucratic reasons. How would you feel if your right to study abroad, or to even travel outside your country, was denied?

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Published in Editor's Desk
Zalina Alvi

Zalina grew up in Toronto and began her career in journalism at the York University campus newspaper. Before joining Verge in 2010, she worked for a documentary festival, a non-profit organization and various magazines and newspapers. Zalina has had some eclectic travel experiences, including reporting for a newspaper on the island of Molokai in Hawaii.

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