Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians woke up Saturday morning on the 30th of July 2022, to the huge amount of fireworks and the sound of tens of thousands of explosions. Minutes earlier, many Palestinian families had been waiting anxiously on their cellphones, waiting for their sons’ and daughters’ results.
Tawjihi is the general secondary education certification examination in occupied Palestine and serves to determine which subject Palestinian students are permitted to study in Universities. The result of the Tawjihi exams was announced on Saturday, pushing tens of thousands of Palestinian students to take to the street to celebrate their results.
However, what is beyond the frame in the besieged Gaza Strip situation differs. It is not that easy for Gazan students to pass this stage – Tawjihi. Success is no accident, it is hard work. Students did a great job in Tawjihi despite the conditions affecting Gaza. The electricity crisis, caused by the Israeli occupation, increased the suffering of Gaza students and seriously affected their studies. Gaza has been suffering from reducing the power-on hours to only 4hours daily and increasing the power-off hours to 12.
Electricity outages are the largest challenge Palestinian students have in Gaza. The availability of electricity severely limits when students can study, preventing them from studying whenever they would like to.
In spite of all difficulties Gazan students went through, they scored a high percentage of excellent performance in Tawjihi. Four quadruplets from Gaza distinguished themselves in scoring high marks in Tawjihi.
Quadruplets, Abd al-Rahman, Muhammad, Abdullah and Duha Raafat al-Zaqzouq, from Khan Yunis City in the southern Gaza Strip, overcame their grief over their mother, who was martyred in 2021 as a result of the injury she sustained by the Israeli air strikes, during the 2014 aggression. They fulfilled their mother’s wish by excelling in high school. Abd al-Rahman scored 93.1%, Abdullah scored 81.6%, Muhammad scored 79.1% in the scientific stream, and Duha Raafat al-Zaqzouq scored 93.3% in the humanitarian stream; at these rates, joy crept into their home for the first time since the 2021 aggression. It was not easy for the four Gazan quadruplets to overcome the obstacle of shock and grief over the death of their mother.
Raafat al-Zaqzouq, the quadruplets’ father, said: “Their mother, may God have mercy on her, was strongly present in their education, and I expected one day that the media would come to them to cover their success, and this is what happened actually after the four worked hard and achieved excellence and better rates than the years that passed.”
The father added, “The quadruplets felt as if their mother was among them, always invoking her, to the point that they sometimes laugh when remembering some situations. From their mother’s determination and support, they insisted on achieving excellence in Tawjihi”.
“The absence of my mother was tough. High school for me was not also easy, so I was among the difficult challenges to overcome due to the difficult circumstances, either to stand in my place and achieve nothing or to achieve my mother’s dream, who dreamed of making us happy, before death kidnapped her from us. Duha said, describing the darkest moments of her life.
She continued “Thank God! My mother achieved what she wishes, and I will study at university in the field of medicine, as I dream.”
Abdul Rahman also did not hide that his mother’s death was a great shock to him, saying: “I was receiving a lesson when I received the news of her death, and at that time I became paralyzed. The ghost of sadness and frustration dominated me, and, soon, I overcame that, thanking God for our destiny. I studied with my brothers and we worked hard together until we achieved this great success; I indeed expected more, but I am satisfied with what I achieved.”
President Mahmoud Abbas called the quadruplets to congratulate them on passing the high school Tawjihi examinations with great marks, informing them that his administration will pay for their university studies.
Student Ahmed Duhair celebrated his success in high school despite war trauma, who lost 21 members of his family in aggression launched by an Israeli airstrike on Gaza Strip in July 30, 2014, which led to the assassination of 21 members of his family, including his parents and five brothers.
What makes the situation more painful is that the date of announcing the results of the high school (Tawjihi) coincided with the date of the martyrdom of all members of Ahmad family.
The student, Duhair, from Mosbeh neighbourhood, north of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, scored 75.4% in the scientific stream, overcoming the difficult psychological conditions he has been experiencing for 8 years, following the loss of all his family members. “The path to success was confrontations with great struggle, and I thank God almighty for granting me this success,” Duhair, who had a particularly close relationship with his family. He confirmed that the joy he experienced has not been tasted since the loss of his family.
He thanked everyone who supported him, his uncles, aunts, and family, dedicating his success first to his martyr family, then to his neighbours, to all prisoners who are held in the Israeli occupation prisons, to Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Palestine.
Read more : Regarding The Pain Of Palestinians
Dhuhair said that he is still living the horrific moments he experienced after the Israeli occupation bombed their home in 2014, saying that he got survive by God’s divine mercy, as he asked his father, minutes before the bombing, to take him to his uncle’s home, then his father insisted on returning home to be among the martyrs.
The quadruplets and Ahmad are welcome examples to all the students. The achieved success is out of students’ awareness of the importance of being educated, believing that education is their greatest weapon to obtain their long-denied freedom that is stolen by the Israeli occupiers.
The news are a bit late, but I live in Gaza, and we’re currently under a brutal Israeli attack. I only got time to edit the article today. Apologies.