The Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) has held a special graduation ceremony for its male and female students. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Jamal Al-Khodary, MP, said that the university's vision is to stimulate students towards excellence and innovation, especially at a time when the education sector is facing the most difficult of circumstances with the ongoing siege and the aftermath of the recent Israeli invasion of Gaza.
The IUG has won international recognition, including an award from the Islamic Bank for Development and Innovation for its Engineering Faculty. There have been many international bodies aiding and funding the university and its students; at the forefront have been Turkey's government and its Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. At the graduation ceremony, the IUG bestowed honorary doctorates on Mr. Erdogan and his Palestinian counterpart in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, in honour of their ongoing work for the people of Gaza.
Although this was a day of celebration, graduates face an uncertain future as unemployment continues to reach record levels due to the illegal blockade of the territory. The lack of essential goods, including construction materials, appliances and equipment, mean that there are hardly any employment positions for old and new graduates to fill. Not being able to find any suitable work means that most of these young Palestinian graduates continue to live in poverty and aren't able to fulfil their ambitions and potential.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad