Palestinian graduate sad to attend convocation without loved ones

KUALA NERUS: Only a message containing words of encouragement on her mobile phone accompanied a doctorate graduate from Palestine, Hanan Kamel Mohammed Saad, 51, to the stage to receive the scroll at the 15th Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) Idul Ilmi convocation ceremony, today.

Hanan Kamel's parents and family members could not attend her convocation ceremony due to the current conflict in her country.

Although she felt sad as she couldn't celebrate her success with her loved ones, the Faculty of Health Sciences graduate was still grateful because her family was still "present" to congratulate her and pray for her safety in Malaysia through messages sent over the phone.

"The last time I contacted my family was yesterday through Facebook and Instagram. We cannot communicate regularly because the internet connection there is very weak. They also have to limit the conversation as they need to be alert and on guard at all times.

"For the time being, I have to postpone my intention to return to serve in Palestine and will look for work in Malaysia. I hope to be able to meet my family again one day," said Hannan, who has 12 siblings, when met at UniSZA, here.

Hanan Kamel was also grateful that all her family members were still safe despite having to stay at the homes of neighbours and other relatives after their homes were affected by the Israeli-Palestinian war.

Meanwhile, another doctor of philosophy graduate from Palestine, Saber T R Syouri, 50, unfortunately, could not attend the historic convocation ceremony as he was currently trapped in a dangerous situation in the West Bank.

Through a video broadcast at the event, he also shared the sad news of losing several members of his family, including his son and daughter in the latest conflict that began on Oct 7.

"Thank you to Terengganu and UniSZA. I apologise for not being able to attend the convocation due to the very dangerous situation at the moment," he lamented. — BERNAMA

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