UNRWA Student Parliament Leen Sharqawi Intervention at the UNRWA Pledging Conference

02 June 2023
 UNRWA Student Parliamentarian Leen Sharqawi addresses the UNRWA Pledging Conference in New York. © UNRWA Photo

The United Nations, New York

2 June 2023


My name is Leen Sharqawi. I'm 15 years old. I am a student at the UNRWA Nuzha School for Girls in Amman, Jordan. I am an elected student representative and currently the deputy head of the Jordan-wide UNRWA school parliament.

Did you know that UNRWA schools had a region-wide democratically elected and student-led parliament?

School parliaments defend the interests of the students and help them overcome difficulties and fulfill their dreams.  

It is such an honor to be here with you today at the General Assembly as a girl representing the voices of more than half a million boys and girls studying in UNRWA schools in and out of camps in the five fields of operation: Jordan, Syria, Gaza, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Lebanon.

I stand here today talking to you with confidence and passion thanks to the quality education I receive in UNRWA schools.  We work on many initiatives, projects and activities that help the students enhance their learning and skills at the school within the available resources.  Leadership and public speaking are two skills that I polished in UNRWA schools and through my role in the UNRWA school parliament.

I, like half a million students in UNRWA school, feel very proud of my education, heritage and  culture. We are children with big dreams and great abilities. We are not JUST Palestine Refugees. We are children who dream of becoming global citizens and who want to help the world become a better place. Good education is what will allow us to do this.

In every meeting I say: Listen to the voices of students, and today I say it to you, too. Listen to Palestine Refugee children who are proud students of UNRWA schools.

Please have faith in us and give us the chance.


Thank you

Leen Sharqawi




Background Information: 

UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.

UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, The Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. 

Tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 1948 conflict continue to be displaced and in need of support, nearly 75 years on.

UNRWA helps Palestine Refugees achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.


For more information, please contact:

Juliette Touma
UNRWA Director of Communications
+962-79-867-4628 (on whatsapp)
Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson/ Director of External Relations & Communications
+962 (0)79 090 0140