The Gaza Scholarship Scheme

Making a difference in Gaza

Gaza Scholarship Scheme

Photo: Alessandra Pigni

At an event in April 2009 for Oxford Brookes University’s Honorary Graduates and Fellows, hosted by our Chancellor, Shami Chakrabarti, two of the guests engaged in a discussion about the plight of people in Gaza. They asked the University to investigate how it might make an intervention in this regard, and to signify their personal commitment each of them pledged personal donations to initiate the project.

A working group was immediately established with the support of the Vice Chancellor and the Chancellor. The working group at its first meeting considered different ways in which the University might proceed and concluded:

We are keen to establish a project at Oxford Brookes University that will be a sign to the people of Gaza that they are not forgotten. Our first thoughts on how this might be achieved are that the project might provide assistance to prospective students from Gaza and enrich the University's understanding of and interaction with Gaza.

It was agreed that a scholarship fund should be established to bring in one student each year at the graduate level to undertake a course of study leading to the award of an Oxford Brookes Masters degree. It was our hope - but not a condition of acceptance - that the student would upon completion of his or her studies undertake work that will bring tangible benefits to the people of Gaza.

A success story

The scholarship is now in its sixth year and we are extremely proud and honoured to have supported the following students. They are remarkable individuals and our lives have been made richer for knowing them.

  • Ramy Salemdeeb, completed the requirements for his MSc in Environment Management and Technology in November 2011 and has gone on to complete a PhD from Cambridge University. He is now founder of 'Zero Waste MENA' which is a new regional initiative to promote sustainable practices to create zero waste communities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
  • The second student, Jamila Alza'anin commenced her Masters studies in the Centre for Emergency and Development Practice in October 2011.
  • Hassan Alhallaq our third student, studied for an MSc in e-Business in 2012-13
  • Jehan Alfarra joined us in September 2013 and completed his MSc in Computing.
  • Shaymaa Al Waheidi completed a Masters in Public Health in 2015.
  • Our current Gaza scholar is Omar Jouda who is studying for an MSc in e-Business.

If you are interested in discussing any aspect of our Gaza Scholarship Scheme then please contact Mary Wakefield at or on 01865 484606.