Contending with the occupation, blockade and crippling
poverty in the Gaza Strip, two of our beneficiaries studying at the Islamic
University of Gaza chose to fight back through their scientific research. The results of
their studies were remarkable.

In a territory where the economy has been completely
devastated by the blockade on imports and exports, local farmers in Gaza
struggle to cope with the overwhelming demand for crop production. As a result,
they are forced to use an excessive amount of insecticides on their vegetables
and fruit trees.  

Ali is a post-graduate student at the Islamic
University of Gaza who was concerned about the health hazards this had on both
farmers and the local population consuming their produce. He decided to start researching
it to see if he was right, but inevitably, faced a stumbling block. He lives in
Gaza after all, where gaining the right equipment and finances to do almost
anything is a struggle. Fortunately, Interpal was able to help, and provided
him with the equipment he needed to begin his work.

Through his tests, he found out conclusively that
insecticides can have a seriously detrimental effect on people’s liver and
kidney function. After offering recommendations on how to combat this, Ali has
paved the way to finding a solution to the detrimental effects of crop production.

And then there’s Nadia. While studying for a master’s
degree in biotechnology, she used nanotechnology to create a type of cotton
that can be used in bed sheets and gowns in hospitals to kill germs. This
simple idea is transformational for hospitals in Gaza where diseases are so easily spread that patients usually leave with even more problems.

Nadia began working on her creation after translating
a scientific article and reading about the idea. She says: “After reading about
it, I decided to create it myself and do my own tests on it. I found that it
has no negative effect on the body but can kill all germs before they affect
the wounds of a patient”

Interpal
helped Nadia by providing the equipment she needed to carry out her tests.

Nadia and Ali are two examples of thousands of
Palestinian students working towards a better future for Palestine. If you
would like to help support Palestinian students, visit www.interpal.org or call us on 020 8961 9993.