21 April 2010
Mohammed Jalal Fahad, a 16-year old student at UNRWA’s Al-Aqsa School in Rashidieh Camp in Lebanon has, against all odds, won a scholarship at the prestigious Eton College in Britain. Mohammed will begin his studies at Eton this autumn, but has already been sent to visit Eton for a sneak preview of student life.
On his visit, Mohammed joined in classes and was interviewed by several teachers as well as Eton’s headmaster. He was impressed by the people he met and is looking forwards to campus life.
“I didn’t feel like a foreigner,” Mohammed says as he explains that the students treated him like one of their own. As part of his visit Mohammed gave a talk about his life as a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon; students and teachers were very sympathetic.
Mohammed was offered a place after an Eton representative visited his school. He was selected due to his exceptional grades and then had to go through a gruelling series of interviews before being offered a place and a two-year scholarship.
Mohammed says that he will miss his family very much when he leaves, but is excited to take his first step towards achieving a dream he thought would never come true.
As a child, Mohammed dreamt of entering a prestigious university, like Oxford University in Britain, to study engineering or medicine. He always thought that it would only be a dream because the education system in Lebanon excludes Palestine refugees from state schools and top universities.
“I thought it was impossible,” he says. However, the Eton scholarship has changed everything.
“I hope to go to Oxford and continue life as an important person,” says Mohammed. His dream today is to contribute to his society and he aims to spread the message of the situation of the Palestinians to the world.