Palestinian; seeking Undergraduate degree in Medicine and is enrolled at Belarusian State Medical University.
I am Nivine Atwani, a Palestinian refugee from Lebanon.
I was born in Lebanon to a Lebanese mother and Palestinian father. Little I knew that this would eventually be a challenge I need to surmount for the rest of my life. I come from a family that put a great value on education. For Palestinians this has almost become a national identity. My father is a math teacher, my mother was a history teacher. She retired when my fourth sister was born. We are five daughters: a math teacher, a nurse, a medical doctor and an aspiring dentist, and me, a doctor in progress.
I studied hard and ranked 5th statewide in the Lebanese official high school exams in 2010.
My grades fell slightly short of those required for a scholarship in Lebanon. Medical school fees were prohibitive. I couldn't give up on my dream to become a doctor, so I had to join an affordable university abroad. I secured admissions to the Belarusian State Medical University in Belarus in 2017.
I just finished my fourth year and have three more years to go.
My parents supported me and sacrificed a lot in the past 4 years to cover my modest expenses.
Lebanon is currently undergoing a severe economic crisis. The majority of institutions in the country shut down, mainly in the private sector. Thousands of people lost their jobs, one of them is my dad who has been a math teacher for 30 years. I had to leave my University and come back to Lebanon this semester because living there was no longer affordable.
Some family members with extremely modest life savings offered to help. The banks refused to give them their deposits in dollars. My mother sold her two wedding bracelets to buy me an airline ticket. As a Palestinian, I am not entitled to any relief that the Lebanese Government offers to Lebanese students living abroad. Although I am born and raised in this country to a Lebanese mother, but I cannot get the Lebanese citizenship from my mother. My Palestinian Refugee status makes it impossible for me to pursue my dream. My father can no longer afford to support my education now.
My next semester will start on September 1st. My visa will expire also. Unless I join the university by that date, I will lose my semester and by default a whole academic year.
Why Would Donors Fund You?
- I deserve the support because of my courage, because I am betting on the unknown and willing to take the challenge even when there are no guarantees. By supporting me, you are giving me a chance to help women attain their rights and raise healthy children.
- I know I have many challenges to overcome. As a woman doctor, I will not only fight for women’s health and reproductive rights but also for their civil rights. I will do what I can to make sure that a woman enjoys equal rights as men to pass her citizenship to their children. I appeal to you to help me save my dream. I want to return, educated, independent economically and willing to fight for my rights as a human being, as a woman entitled to live a decent life and get a proper education.
- By supporting me, you are helping me prove that eventually لا يصح إلا الصحيح! What is right shall eventually prevail.
How Do You Plan to Payback?
I want to become a Pediatrician. I also have a passion for teaching and lecturing. One of my biggest dreams is to raise awareness in my community to raise healthy kids. I would focus on environmental pollution and its effects on child health and on learning disabilities in children. I hope to achieve this by providing free evaluations in community clinics and schools and free consultations to women of childbearing age. Knowing how costly it is to get a medical degree, I hope to be eventually able to financially assist underprivileged refugee kids to develop interest in the medical sciences
Volunteer Work/Social Capital
In 2014 I joined the Lebanese Red Cross and provided critical emergency care that saved many lives. I learned basic life-saving techniques like CPR, how to intubate patients, and how to react promptly in emergency situations like natural disasters.
In 2015, I volunteered at the Children Cancer Center of Lebanon. I helped kids cope with their diagnosis. I focused on children with special needs ( ie. Autism, mental disabilities, physical disabilities, delayed speech
When I joined medical school in Belarus, I continued to contribute to the community. in 2017, I started tutoring less fortunate immigrant students in my class. Most of them were not able to afford private tutoring. In 2018, having acquired basic medical and clinical knowledge, I joined the Free Consultation Clinics at my University hospital. I provided care in emergency situations and provided essential medical care under the supervision of attending physicians to many patients.
- Tutoring Medical courses less fortunate students who could afford private tutoring expenses-2017, 2018, 2019
- Volunteered at the "Free Consultation Clinics" In Belarus-2018, 2019, 2020
- Volunteered at Children Cancer Center of Lebanon- 2016
- Volunteered at The Lebanese Red Cross- 2014
What Have You Done to Improve Yourself? Awards and Achievements
- I have always considered volunteering a great opportunity to grow. I see my work with the Red Crescent, the Children Cancer Center and the Medical Center in Belarus as an opportunity of personal growth and learning.
- Belarusian State Medical University- Dean's Honor list 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
- Doctor-Patient-Confidentiality Conference In Belarus- Received the Award of "Best Project Presentation"-2019
- Lebanese Official Exams- Ranked 5th Statewide- 2010