Make A Dream Come True : Just Once, Please – for Nader K.

UPDATE | Aug 4, 2011

Today august 4, 2011, Nader received devastating news from the university, while reaching the final selectionround, he was not selected for a scholarship. So our appeal is to donate a little, if many do so, we may be able to change his hopes into reality and change a life. Please consider a contribution and spread this appeal. Thank you.

UPDATE | Aug 5, 2011

from Nader’s weblog….:

I Must Be Dreaming

August 5th, 2011
Countless nights were spent looking for the perfect course in the perfect university. Because I had many friends in the UK, I thought it would be the perfect place for me since I am a people-oriented person. The mission of finding the best university wasn’t easy because of the endless available choices. Many universities were contacted regarding courses, fees and other unstated information.
The University of Westminster was the university I’ve chosen amongst over a hundred universities in the UK. Furthermore, it was very pleasing to me finding a course of my interest. A course I believed that I would do my best at. A course that will greatly improve my skills, pushing them beyond the imaginary edge I have put for. I couldn’t find a better course that from the very first moment I thought was tailored for ambitions, my needs, and me.
For over two weeks, I collected all the necessary documents for the admissions application, which I was all hope of getting. It took the university over 2 months to finally email me with an unconditional offer to pursue my MSc Business Intelligence and Analytics, which brought joy to my heart like nothing before. I would never forget how I felt that day upon reading the offer email.
Though the email came 4 days later the Palestinian European Academic Cooperation in Education (PEACE) Scholarships. But thanks to one of my closest friends, Shoruk, who had helped me so much, calling many different people in different offices around the University and Canvedish House. Without her help, applying to the scholarship with an exception to apply via email wouldn’t be possible.
I applied to the scholarship four days late because the admission came out late as I mentioned earlier and I was all hope that it works with me right for once and for all. It was the only opportunity for me to pursue my dream and get my masters degree from one of the prestigious universities in the UK, the University of Westminster, and see the world (or at least London) for the first and probably the last time in my life.
Living in Gaza is a challenge in itself. The ultimate challenge to anybody on earth would be to live in Gaza, and most importantly survive. Endure endless collective punishment reaching out to over 1.5 million citizens in the biggest-in-history open-air prison. Long-period long-term power cuts, polluted drinking water, which is not suitable for human use, severe shortage in medical supplies, and the list goes on forever.
Upon submitting the scholarship application via email, the scholarships office at the University emailed me back confirming receipt of the scholarship application and that results will come out in late July. Submitting the application in early June meant that I would have to wait for two months before I hear from them regarding the scholarship.
Two months were the longest I’ve ever lived till this moment. Two months full of mixed feelings. Anxiety, worrying, hopes, dreams, ambitions, and a major life turning point. Countless sleepless nights, and nightmares (when I could sleep for a few hours). A period of time I never wish even my enemies to live or experience.
I anticipated the unknown time at which the university will email me regarding the scholarship on which, almost everything-if not all- was dependent. Imagine the possibilities available upon being able to pursue your higher degree and all the things associated with it.
Not receiving any email from the university as the end of July approached started to feel creepy. The closer then end of the month becomes, the creepier the feeling gets. But in spite of all of that, never did I lose faith and hope in getting it.
July has ended, and we are in August already, counting days away from the period in which, the university was supposed to contact me regarding the scholarship. Things started to feel creepy and more worrying by the minute. Till a dear friend, Emma, told me that she would gladly call the university and ask them regarding my matter. Emma’s call was relieving, Alhamdulillah. They told her that they would reply today or tomorrow.
The day ended and it’s time for iftar now. Twenty minutes later, I followed my instinct and went to my computer to check my email to find that the university has finally sent me an email. I was very happy by then.
I open the email to read the most shockingly devastating email I have ever read:
Dear Nader,
I regret to inform you that the Scholarships Committee, after great deliberation, has not been able to award you a scholarship for the September 2011 intake. The committee met over a number of days and each case was carefully reviewed. We had a great many applications, over 2500, for a limited number of scholarships, so the competition was particularly intense this year.
Please be assured that every application was given due consideration. I am sorry that we have to disappoint you and wish you every success in your future.
Please note that all decisions made by the Committee are final and not open to re-consideration.
Devastated and broken is how I felt (and still do) after reading such a catastrophic email. Now that the major life turning point opportunity has gone, fundraising remains the only option for me. Without
enough funds, I would never be able to pursue my masters degree, nor achieve my dreams.
Nader K.

Make a Dream “Just Once, Please…” Come True!

On June 19 we reposted a touching blogpost (see below) of Nader aka @imNadz from Gaza about the difficulties Gazans are facing in education, and his hope and his despair on chances for a scholarship abroad.

All his and our prayers have been heard because Nader – unless the highly competitive demands – has reveived an unconditional offer for an MCS Business Intelligence & Analytics at the University of Westmister in UK!

The full time 1 year course is starting in September 2011 so time is limited for arrangements for the Confirmations of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) only is issued after the years tuiton fees.  This means the University only isssues the CAS after payment of  £4000 which is obligatory as well to be able to apply for a student visa to travel even out of Gaza. So a very limited time to arrange all especially for as almost all students and especially even talented ones like Nader in Gaza are jobless and without any income at all. Hence, over 70% of Gazans are even dependant on food aid for staying alive.

This blog does not fundraise for itself. We sometimes fundraise for special occassion, mostly when urgent surgeries are needed for children in Gaza with severe diseaseses, cancer, born with heart-diseases and so on.  This time, knowing Nader and his endless fights for being able to study we want to post this appeal to make his dream come true and ask you all for a little help because together we can change someone’s life and opportunities.

Needless to say, for almost anyone else in the world education or traveling abroad for education is something obvious and nothing special. But for someone in Gaza it is almost impossible without some help from others.

So our appeal is: Let’s Make His Dream “Just Once, Please… ” Come True!

The total fees for academic year 2011/12 starting in September 2011 according to tuitionfees spreadsheet published on the website of the University of Westminster the costs for the expenses are:

Estimated Monthly Expenses in GBP

Type Estimated Cost
Tuiton Fees 10,785*
Accomodation 650
Bills 50
Transportation 70
Living Expenses 400

* Total fees for academic year 2011/12 starting in September 2011 according to tuition

Given the financial opportunity with some help of us all makes Nader able to complete an MSc Business Intelligence and Analytics degree would mean his dream of becoming an Advanced Data Analyst could be realized.

For more information contact @imNadZ, or to make a direct  donation via his weblog and be part of making this dream and once in a lifetime chance into reality go to the weblog of Nader : Sleepless in Gaza

Spread it….

June 19, 2011 | Nader K | Sleepless in Gaza

Just Once, Please  –  by Nader K.

It was Thursday when Ziyaad, Mohammed, Mr. Refaat and I met in the evening to watch the sunset and converse, as we left the plan for rest of the night to be decided later. The usual conversation then went from about life to almost all aspects; whether be it social, economical, political, educations, or anything you could possibly think of.

We then started talking about education once again. Mohammed is going to London School of Economics (LSE) to do his Masters in Global Politics, Mr. Refaat is going to Kent University to do his PhD in Comparative Literature, while I was still not sure about what should happen next. My mind starts to wonder off to three weeks ago, when I received an unconditional offer from the University of Westminster for a Masters degree in Business Intelligence and Analytics.

It was a sunny Friday when I received an email from the admissions office in the University of Westminster, telling me that the University has made an unconditional offer, for the previously mentioned course, starting in September 2011. This very email was the first ever to put me in tears. I was very happy that I’d finally made it half way through to the UK!

Three hours later, I applied to the scholarship, without which, I won’t be able to continue my education! All required papers were submitted. TOEFL and IELTS, full transcript, Résumé, etc. The scholarship sent a confirmation receipt by email a few hours later. I lean back and grab my cup of coffee with a wide smile. I felt so close to leaving Gaza for the first time in my life.

All of this flashed in front of my eyes in a fraction of a second, and I am back to reality when Mr. Refaat asked me: “So, Nader, for which scholarship did you apply?” With utmost courage I replied: “PEACE”. As soon as I said that, the whole atmosphere changed to absolute silence, which, in fact, terrified me a little bit and made me feel a bit uncomfortable, as I sensed something wrong. “What’s wrong?” I asked, breaking the silence, wanting to bring the old atmosphere back. “Nothing!” Mr. Refaat replied, stopped for second and continued, “Did you know that this is one of the highly competitive scholarships?”

Once again, my feelings were right. I knew something bad wass going to happen because nothing has ever gone right so far. Then Mr. Refaat continued, “I know many who have applied to this very scholarship and I believe that it is going to be highly competitive this year”, “Yeah, right” I said to myself and the topic changed somehow and we ditched this topic as it was time for Maghrib.

I spent fifteen minutes thinking of what Mr. Refaat had said over and over again and the more I thought about it, the more that creepy feeling got me. So I just decided to leave and go to the gym to release the depression and clear my mind at least for an hour.

It took me two whole days to recover from that shock. Also, thanks to my friends who have helped me through this. Without them, I wouldn’t have come to realize that I am a competitor and I deserve to get it for my rich work experience and academic excellence. I am not depressed anymore, but not getting the scholarship will be totally devastating.

If you happen to be or know someone in the scholarships office in the university, talk to them about my case please. Otherwise, just pray I get it. Help me help make the world a better place.

Nader K.

Source and more Stories, Poems and Diaries from Nader at SleeplessInGaza

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