Our fallen colleagues series : Former UNRWA student buried in a school

24 May 2024
Our fallen colleagues series :  Former UNRWA student buried in a school

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The story of physiotherapist Abdul Rahman

Three months into the war in Gaza, as violence raged around him, Abdul Rahman left his family in search of food. The father of two children - whose youngest was just a few months old - never returned. Without a chance to say goodbye, Abdul Rahman was killed by a quadcopter drone. Poignantly, the former UNRWA student was laid to rest at the UNRWA Abu Helo School in Al-Bureij camp.

Abdul Rahman loved life and was known for his unwavering work ethic. He graduated from high school with a 95 per cent grade point average. He then enrolled at the UNRWA Gaza Training Centre and earned a diploma in physiotherapy, with distinction. His work ethic continued to shine through as he continued his pursuit of knowledge by earning a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy, again graduating with honours. Abdul Rahman’s drive did not stop there: at the time of his death, he was preparing to defend his master's degree dissertation before the war began.

Throughout his career, Abdul Rahman served his community at several physiotherapy centres and institutions before recently joining the UNRWA medical team in the Gaza City Health Centre. He was dedicated to his patients, who always praised his commitment to his work. His kindness and willingness to help others can be attested to by those who worked with him.

Ibtisam Saqer, the head of physiotherapy at the clinic, said, “Abdul Rahman, may he rest in peace, was a remarkable example of a dedicated and selfless staff member. He was devoted to serving his patients, who praised his knowledge and character during my visits to the department he worked in. Though he was a new colleague, his killing deeply saddened all of his co-workers, who lost not only a well-mannered colleague but also a talented professional with immense aspirations and dreams, all of which were murdered.”

As of 19 May, 96 medical points and seven (out of 24) UNRWA health centres are operational, with nearly 667 healthcare staff continuing to serve despite being displaced themselves. UNRWA honours Abdul Rahman’s service and dedication, as it does the other 188 UNRWA staff members killed since the war broke out in the Gaza Strip in October 2023.