Ghazal’s Success Story: A Day for Celebrations

22 August 2019
Sixteen-year-old Ghazal al-Toubeh is a Palestine refugee living in Homs, Syria. She is a high achiever and wants to be a teacher when she graduates from college.  Photo credit: © 2019 UNRWA Photo by Walid Mansour.

“I cannot describe my feelings when our exam results were announced. There was a lot of excitement in the room, I was so happy.  I cried with joy!” Ghazal says. Sixteen year-old Ghazal al-Toubeh, is a Palestine refugee student who lives in Homs refugee camp in Syria and is among thousands of students who recently passed the 9th grade national exam and scored high marks that will qualify her to go for general education. “I don’t feel that my disability hinders pursuing my education,” Ghazal says.  “My mother created a positive learning environment in our home and is always supportive.”

In addition to a supportive home environment, Ghazal has benefitted from services offered by the UNRWA relief and social services programme, such as events attended in the local UNRWA community centre, which she regularly attended before joining school.Her determination to continue her studies and attain an advanced degree motivates everyone around her. Her teachers describe Ghazal as a lively student, “with the seemingly boundless energy of girls her age,” recalls one.

In spite of her positive outlook on life, Ghazal is not completely immune to people's negative opinions: “I've had my share of weird comments and awkward questions.” Nonetheless, her eagerness to learn and dedication to her studies propelled her to success in school andGhazal hope to be an Arabic teacher after graduating from university.

“I am very proud to have overcome all the challenges I have faced,'' Ghazal sayswith pride.  

UNRWA is proud to provide inclusive education to 532,000 Palestine refugee students across the Middle East, reflecting the diverse needs of persons with disabilities in each of its 708 schools. The Agency’s education programme ensures a rights-based approach to education provision that serves the most vulnerable student groups, actively promoting inclusive school communities. In addition, Agency staff work hard to empower students, with a zero-tolerance policy for bullying. UNRWA aims to protect every student from marginalization and exclusion.