suffering Alone

Monday, January 19, 2009

As the death toll passes the 1,100 mark in the ongoing Israeli operation in Gaza, Palestinians living in Pakistan remain glued to their television sets, scanning graphic images of the dead and wounded for familiar faces, waiting for the worst. Sadly, they find little support in their adopted homeland during this ordeal.
During the 1970s, there were over 8,000 Palestinians in Pakistan. Now, however, there are 450 Palestinian students and 25 Palestinian families living across the country, according to Jaser Ahmed, the chargé d’affaires at the Palestinian embassy in Islamabad. The students are scattered across institutes in Hyderabad, Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Multan while the families are primarily based in Islamabad and Karachi.
Mr. Ahmed claims that the number of Palestinians here has reduced because students increasingly opt to complete undergraduate degrees in Middle Eastern countries such as Jordan.
Still, the Pakistani government reserves 50 seats for Palestinian students in universities across the country: 13 are for medicine, four for dentistry, 23 for engineering, and 10 for pharmacy. Eight scholarships are also available


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