Gaza: IUG celebrates living and dead graduates
By Yousef M. Aljamal 28/06/21012
The Center for Political and Development Studies, Gaza
The Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), the biggest university in Palestine, ranked the 14th in the Arab World, celebrated yesterday the graduation of a group of students from the Faculty of Arts. The graduates attended four-year programs in various fields, majoring in English Literature, Mass Communication, History, Geography, Arabic Literature and Geographic Information System (GIS). This is the 31st group to graduate from IUG since its establishment. The total number of graduates this year is 3658 and the number of graduates since the establishment of the university in 1978 exceeds 46,000, studying in more than 100 majors.
Graduation Ceremony at IUG, Gaza City
On June the 26th, IUG celebrated the graduation of the first group of students from the Faculty of Medicine, which was established in 2006. The graduates completed a six-year program. The faculty faced numerous difficulties during the time of the Israeli siege, yet efforts were made to overcome the obstacles.
"Professors from The University of Manchester visited IUG recently. They said that the level of medical students at the university is better than their counterparts at the UM," said MP Jamal Naji Al-Khoudari, the head of IUG Board of Trustees.
IUG was established in 1978 to allow students who were prevented from traveling to neighboring Arab countries and who had financial problems to study in the Gaza Strip. Tents were first used as halls. Nowadays, there are 12 buildings at IUG. One is under construction and the Scientific Laboratory Building is being re-built after been targeted by Israel during the 2008-2009 war on Gaza.
"One of the graduates is Jihad Abu-Shabab who was killed in the latest Israeli air strikes on Gaza. He got a BA in Geography, but sadly he is not with us today," said Waleed Amer, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts.
"IUG have launched a M.A program in Mass Communication. Two others majors in Plant Production and Politics and Media will operate next year," said Dr. Kamaleen Shaa'th, IUG president.
"O poetry, grant me words to express my thanks to parents and professors, who made this moment real. It's a day of joyfulness. It's the harvest of four years of hard work and sleeping late" noted Hana Al-Bauomi, in a speech on behalf of the graduates.
"It's an unexampled happy day. Such happy moments of graduation and success are really amazingly different. I hope this success to be followed by further success in postgraduate studies in the future," said Abdul-Rahman Murad, 22-year graduate from English Literature Department.
The coming few days will witness staging other ceremonies at IUG for graduates from the faculties of Sharia and Law, Commerce, Science, Nursing, IT, Religion, Education and Engineering.
"I feel great that I am finally a graduate. I remembered all the hard times I have been through and gave a deep sigh," said Ola Ziada, one of the graduates.
IUG is a vivid example of what Palestinians can do with tents. In 1978, it started with tents. Today, it has 11 high, modern state of the art buildings. When it first started, there were two majors. Today, there are more than 100 majors. IUG simply counts on Palestine's youth, who will bring the liberation of Palestine one step closer.