No University Left Standing in Gaza
Within the first 100 days of its war on Gaza, the Israeli military systematically destroyed every single university on the strip. International human rights monitors have found significant evidence that Palestinian scholars and intellectual figures have been targeted by Israeli strikes. The Israeli military has decimated Gaza’s education system and its infrastructure. This week on Deconstructed, Natasha Lennard, a columnist for The Intercept, fills in for Ryan Grim and speaks with Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina, the vice president of Israa University, one of Gaza’s most celebrated institutions of higher education and research. At the start of the war, Israel turned the university into military barracks, and later destroyed it in a massive, controlled explosion. In mid-November, Alhussaina fled Gaza; he has been able to escape to Egypt with his direct family members. Israel’s current war has killed 102 of his relatives. Alhussaina told Lennard about academic life in Gaza before October 7, the unending terror and desperation for Palestinians since the war began, and his hopes for the future of Palestinian intellectual life.
The Destruction of Gaza’s Universities
During the war on Gaza, the Israeli military targeted and destroyed every university in the strip. This deliberate destruction has had a devastating impact on the education system and infrastructure in Gaza. International human rights monitors have gathered evidence suggesting that Palestinian scholars and intellectuals were specifically targeted by Israeli strikes. The destruction of universities has not only disrupted academic life but has also caused immense suffering and desperation for Palestinians.
Interview with Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina
In an interview with Natasha Lennard, Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina, the vice president of Israa University, shared his firsthand experience of the destruction caused by the Israeli military. Israa University was one of Gaza’s most renowned institutions of higher education and research. However, at the start of the war, the university was transformed into military barracks by Israel and later destroyed in a controlled explosion.
Dr. Alhussaina, who managed to escape to Egypt with his direct family members, revealed the tragic loss he has suffered. Israel’s current war has claimed the lives of 102 of his relatives. He also discussed the thriving academic life in Gaza before October 7 and expressed his hopes for the future of Palestinian intellectual life.
The Impact on Palestinian Intellectual Life
The destruction of universities in Gaza has had a profound impact on Palestinian intellectual life. These institutions were not only centers of education but also hubs of research and innovation. The loss of these universities has resulted in a significant setback for the intellectual development of Palestinians.
Palestinians have been subjected to unending terror and desperation since the war began. The destruction of universities has further exacerbated their plight, depriving them of educational opportunities and hindering their ability to rebuild their lives. The targeting of scholars and intellectuals has also stifled intellectual discourse and silenced voices that are crucial for the advancement of Palestinian society.
Hopes for the Future
Despite the immense challenges faced by Palestinians, Dr. Alhussaina remains hopeful for the future. He believes that the resilience and determination of the Palestinian people will prevail. He emphasized the importance of rebuilding the education system in Gaza and providing opportunities for intellectual growth.
Dr. Alhussaina’s story sheds light on the devastating consequences of the war on Gaza and the urgent need for international support to rebuild the education system. The destruction of universities is not only an attack on education but also on the intellectual and cultural heritage of the Palestinian people.
In conclusion, the systematic destruction of universities in Gaza by the Israeli military has had a catastrophic impact on Palestinian intellectual life. Scholars and intellectuals have been targeted, and academic institutions have been reduced to rubble. The loss of these universities has hindered the intellectual development of Palestinians and perpetuated their suffering. However, there is hope for the future as Palestinians strive to rebuild their education system and reclaim their intellectual heritage. International support is crucial in this endeavor to ensure that the Palestinian people can once again thrive academically and intellectually.