Saturday 2nd of August, 2014 – the 27th day of the Israeli aggression on the people of Gaza Strip in Palestine, it was our first day at home after we had evacuated for 3 days, it was the first time I sleep in a bed after I had slept on floor for three days. I woke up to a sound of explosion in our area, an empty land was targeted. My sister, Sara, was already up, I asked her about the news I missed while sleeping for 3 hours.
”You really don’t want to hear about it” she said with a sad voice
”what happened?” I violently asked
” they targeted our university”
” what, when, how WHY WHY WHY !!” I yelled
” I tried to call Mr. Netanyahu to know why, but he’s not picking up” she said ironically
At the dawn of that day, the Israeli war planes bombed the administration building at the Islamic University of Gaza, Located at the heart of the university campus, the building houses the offices of the president of the university, vice-presidents, deans of faculties, heads of departments, academic staff and the assistive teaching center for visually impaired students.
most of the building was damaged including the offices of academic affairs, electronic learning, human resources, dean of quality and planning and dean of the faculty of arts. It also damaged the main meeting rooms and other administration offices. The bomb also caused damage to some adjacent buildings including the main conference hall and the high quality guest lounge. Many computer sets, office furniture and equipment were also destroyed. According to the IUG website An initial estimation of the losses may reach US$ 1.5 million.
Who is IUG?
IUG is a domestic, independent university it was Established in 1978, IUG is the most important institution of higher education in Gaza, known by its high quality teaching, its competent teaching staff and using modern method of teaching, serving more than 20,000 students, 63% of whom are women. It comprises 11 faculties .it’s also an active member of many international and regional academic and research unions and associations. The university received several international awards for its several achievements .
the news about bombing the university was met with huge condemnation, censure and wondering by the students and the graduates of the university, noting that this is not the first time, the university had been targeted before in previous aggressions.
The students were saying on social media that the brutal, savage unexplained attack of this great educational edifice, won’t take our determination down, and if they think that bombing our beloved university will stop the higher education process they have to think again, because even if they targeted all the buildings in the campus we will set tents and study on it.
They also called upon all international academic and human rights organizations, universities, academics, friends and supporters to express their academic outrage over the bombardment of Gaza’s largest and most prominent institution of higher education; to stand by IUG and collaborate with it to reconstruct all the damages this aggression had caused.
The volunteering campaign
Nesma Qandeel, a 2013 graduate from IUG, announced on her personal Facebook account about holding a volunteering campaign to clean up the university of the destruction wastes, the announcement was met by huge support from both the graduates and the students.
” we felt it’s our duty to stand by our university and to clean it from the Zionists rubbish” she told me ” we won’t wait anyone to help, we owe this to the university” she added
She arranged with the university public relations department and with the security, her initiative was highly welcomed.
When I asked her about how she felt when she stepped in the university she said ” it was a mix of outrage and pride, I was proud of my university that scares Israel that much, I also shed some tears, those tears insure nothing but that we still strong and we will be better”
7th of augest, Nesma and other 40 girls, hand in hand from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, did their best to clean the destruction wastes .
Mona Zemili, one of the participated girls said ” when I first heard about it, I was really glad that I can help, I shared about the campaign in many Facebook groups, I really wanted to make it happen and we did”
”We really enjoyed it, it felt like having our revenge” she added
Some of journalists came and interviewed them, the security men also helped them in cleaning, the university thanked them very much for their care, loyalty and love, it also bought them breakfast. They also brought them masks.
The Gazain youth continue to send their massages to the world, those massages in which they express their hope, their strength and their willing to rebuild Gaza and make it even better.