Palestinian, from Palestine; seeking Undergraduate degree in Dentistry and is enrolled at Alazhar University.
"How would you want your story to go” my father asked a couple of days after doctors told me I will never be able to
walk again? I was 14 at the time. Our house was hit with a rocket during the 2014 hostilities. I had no answer. Until
then, all I knew was that I wanted to be free, and I wanted to be a dentist. Instead, I was told I had to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair.
The strike took away my mobility, but not my determination. I had to move forward, and to do that I had to learn to embrace the new me. I can be a dentist.
I am Islam ElBassuny, from Gaza, Palestine.
I went to physical therapy and to school.
I was among the top students of my class.
For my 15th Birthday, my dad got me the best gift I could have ever wanted: books related to dentistry.
I sometimes had to skip school to man our small grocery shop. I had my books with me, and continued to study while attending to my family’s business.
I also helped my mother in a home-based catering and knitting business to raise funds for my sisters' and my education. I tutored children in math, English and reading.
In 9th grade, I was accepted to UNRWA’s Elite English Language program, and soon thereafter, to AMIDEAST’s ACCESS two-year program.
I made my parents proud when I scored 97.4% on my Tawjihi exam, and was admitted to dental school.
Why Would Donors Fund You?
I know that education is a human right but we in Gaza do not take human rights for granted. I know we have to fight hard to realize them.
I have no time to loose. I spared no effort to get close to the achievement of my dream. A strike destroyed my home but not my determination. Maybe I can be a role model for those who need to believe in themselves, and try to overcome their challenges.
Please believe in me.
How Do You Plan to Payback?
I will open a clinic and I will put a percentage for those who have bad circumstances which may kill their dreams
I will work on dental hygiene equipment that I can manufacture from recycled materials
Since charity begins at home, I will help my sisters and brothers to fund their education cost.
Volunteer Work/Social Capital
- Student Parliament
- Picking Olives
- Entertainment activities at al-Amal Institute for Orphans, Red Crescent Society for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled
- Acting: comedy plays after the 2014 war
- Wrote children short film scenarios while volunteering with Theatre Days
- Rock painting in the Gaza port.
- Cleanup Gaza shorelines
- It's My Turn and Me to You initiatives
- Volunteered with Tamer, Al-Ataa Charitable Society, Ghassan Kanafani Cultural Foundation
- Member of Palestinian Association of Dental Students /PADS- Al-Azhar University Chapter.
- Tutored freshman dental students on level 1 carving
What Have You Done to Improve Yourself? Awards and Achievements
· Essay writing in Arabic: ranked first among contestants in my article about Jerusalem.
· Public speaking
· AMIDEAST access scholarship
· Online courses in dentistry
. Leadership and Life Skills
Good luck Islam
Yusra Abu Kwaik
Good luck Islam
Best of luck Islam