Palestinians See Loss of Free Education as Yet Another Burden UN Has Decided to Impose Student Fees on the Poor Living in Refugee Camps; a Strike Is Called for Sept. 9

By Scott Peterson, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 5, 1997 | Go to article overview

Palestinians See Loss of Free Education as Yet Another Burden UN Has Decided to Impose Student Fees on the Poor Living in Refugee Camps; a Strike Is Called for Sept. 9


Scott Peterson, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


School started this week, but new fees to be imposed upon Palestinian refugees by the United Nations may leave more children playing in Gaza's dangerous and dirty streets than learning in the classroom.

Poverty and despair have long been hallmarks of Palestinian refugee camps spread across the Middle East; but so, too, since 1950, has been the free provision of basic services by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

So news of the unprecedented school fees in the Gaza Strip - one of the most densely populated enclaves in the world, under control of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA) - has caused anger and brought children into the street.

With families running out of reserves of food and money, and with little respite from a tough Israeli closure that has entered its second month and keeps tens of thousands of Palestinians from jobs in Israel, UN fees are seen as a huge burden.

Children are going to class for the moment, but as soon as UNRWA tries to collect the 50 shekel ($14) fee per child, parents say, they will be kept at home. A student strike is planned for Sept. 9, the same day the UN will be appealing for more donor funds in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

"What do you expect from someone like me, who is borrowing money to feed my kids?" asks Ahmed Atta, father of five, sitting outside a hole-in-the-wall shop on a crushed egg crate. Cars lurching past on the lumpy sand road stir up more dust. Mr. Atta's job at an Israel butcher shop in Tel Aviv now seems a distant memory.

"The next step is they will make us pay for water," adds policeman Jaber Abu Lebda, father of 11 children. The mounting hardships here make fertile ground for elaborate conspiracy theories, which pit America, Israel, and hard-line Zionists - in cahoots with the UN, of course - against the Palestinians. "What do they want from us?" asks Mr. Lebda.

With Secretary of State Madeleine Albright due to make her first visit to the Middle East next Wednesday, the plight of the refugees - and how that translates into deepening mistrust of all outsiders - points to the risks of any further collapse of the peace process. (Bombings yesterday in Jerusalem lead Israel to reclose its borders.)

Senior UNRWA officials admit that the school fees, staff cuts, and the freeze on hospital reimbursements and referrals announced Aug. 19 place a serious burden on the 3.4 million refugees in the region.

Despite their heavy political costs in the camps, though, the measures will only make up one-third of the $20 million shortfall for 1997. Risks are highest in the West Bank and the sealed Gaza Strip. "This is happening at the worst possible time, but it is far from inevitable," says Peter Hanson, the UNRWA commissioner-general. The UN has been sounding the alarm of the likely shortfall for a year, with little result. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Palestinians See Loss of Free Education as Yet Another Burden UN Has Decided to Impose Student Fees on the Poor Living in Refugee Camps; a Strike Is Called for Sept. 9
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.