I'm Maha a Palestinian girl from Gaza city. Living in Gaza my education and work experience has partly been shaped by the social and economic landscape of the region. During the 2014 war, I worked with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to support the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in collective centres. Our team supported approximately 60,000 IDPs, helping them to make a dignified transition from collective centres to alternative shelter options. It was challenging and difficult at times, but immensely rewarding. Having to deal with limited resources and options made me more adaptable and determined to find alternative solutions. It gave me the confidence in my own judgement, which was important as I knew the potential impact it could have on the lives of many people seeking help.
My motivation for undertaking graduate studies is two-fold. Firstly, I believe science and technology have the ability to resolve many of the problems we face today. I have seen this firsthand with IDPs and the work of the UNRWA. For some people technology is exciting, a novelty, a necessity or even life-changing. For me, I want it to be all that and more, but I also want to be part of the journey.
The second reason is a deeply personal one. I want to return to Gaza with a positive outlook. I want to go back and contribute to the quality of education by starting with young women in Gaza. I want to be an example and inject some hope by showing them how a Muslim woman from a war-torn country has been able to succeed as a computer engineer, even though many said I should not and could not do it. I think it's important to instil the mindset that other women are not defined by their circumstances and should never limit their goals.
However, due to financial setbacks, I may or may not be able to achieve my goals. That is up to you to change. I sincerely come to you asking for any amount of support possible to be used for my tuition fees. I am already registered at the University of Birmingham and received an unconditional offer to study Advanced Computer Science.
I want to show everyone that even though I am at a disadvantage financially that this will not stop me from achieving the goals I want to accomplish. I hope you can find it in your heart to allow me to take this once in a lifetime opportunity.
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