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ElecEng Student blocked from attending Imperial

Oct 06 2008 17:36
Kirsty Patterson
A Palestinian student due to start a masters in Electrical Engineering has been unable to start his course at Imperial after the borders out of Gaza have been closed.
The Islamic University in Gaza

For many students, today marked the first day of their course at Imperial. South Kensington campus is buzzing with new arrivals, eager in the excitement of the oppurtunities that lie ahead of them at University. For one student, Zohair Abu-Shabban, a new student of the Electrical Engineering Department, no such start to his degree is visible in the imminent future.

Zohair is a 24-year-old Palestinian student living in the Gaza strip. He won a scholarship to study a masters programme in Electrical Engineering at Imperial from the Hani Qaddumi Foundation, an organisation with the aim of providing intelligent young palestinians with the opportunity to access education to achieve their aspirations. Zohair hopes that through continuing his education at a postgraduate level he will be able to become a University Professor.

Zohair finished top in his year after studying for a bachelors at The Islamic University in Gaza. This is the only university in Gaza that teaches Electrical Engineering and it only does so at an undergraduate level. Zohair is one of nearly 700 students with places to study abroad who are unable to leave Gaza after the borders were closed. For Zohair this is a double disappointment as he lost his full US Government funded Fulbright scholarship to study for a masters at the University of Connecticut and had his US visa cancelled after failing to be able to cross the border to attend the US University.

Israel closed the borders out of Gaza after the 'hostile' Hamas movement took control of the region in June 2007. The United States have been in negotiations with the Israeli Governent since 2007 to try and allow students with scholarships to study in the US to leave the region. So far this has made little progress and students like Zohair Abu-Shabban are waiting with bags packed to find out if they can attend University this year. Pro Rector (Education), Julia Buckingham, has informed Live! that Imperial College are keeping a close eye on the situation but Zohair has not yet been in touch with the College or Registry.

Imperial College Union and ICU Islamic Society are intending to take action over the situation in the near future so watch out for updates.

Pick up your copy of Felix on Friday to read more about the situation, find out about any developments and see how you can help.

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Discussion about “ElecEng Student blocked from attending Imperial”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Oct 08 2008 00:19

I hope he's allowed in soon. But what's with the quotes around hostile? In what way is Hamas not hostile towards Israel given their calls for that country's destruction and their dispatching of suicide bombers etc.

Oh, and so's you know. Gaza has a border with Egypt too.

Countdown to imminent generic Israel discussion...

Oct 08 2008 11:30

The quotes around hostile are because this is a word directly attributable to the Israeli Government as a reason for keeping the border closed. For once, it is not to indicate sarcasm although I can understand the confusion.

The border into Egypt is also closed. A bus load of Gazans was allowed to leave a short while ago and Zohair rushed to join them but the border was closed again almost immediately. According to the Guardian he is yet to unpack his bags in the hope that another opportunity might arise.

3. Ugh.   
Oct 08 2008 20:02

Yeah... 'progess' is f**king awesome.

Live! is a joke lately.

Oct 09 2008 10:01

Because the previous editor never made a mistake in his life. Or maybe people were just a little more constructive when pointing out corrections. Since when did typos become a crime?

The beauty of Live! is that you can publish immediately and still change mistakes afterwards.

Oct 11 2008 18:51

Ashley? Make a mistake? NEVER.

The man's a legend.

6. pfft   
Oct 11 2008 19:31

Goes to show the mentality of Imperial college when the only comments on an article like this are about the spelling and punctuation.

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