x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Reach for the stars

With education and the right tools, the sky is only the limit, even inside the confines of the Gaza Strip.

To most, Gaza is synonymous with violence and poverty. Little attention is paid to the dreams of the youth behind its walls and fences. And yet, as we report today, a UAE charity will help more than 2,500 Gaza students learn to read, write and play sports through the United Nation's Adopt a School in Gaza Initiative. But an elementary school in Beit Lahia will receive far more than just school supplies from the Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan Foundation. It will receive the funds to inspire the imaginations of the students who live inside the stifling borders of the Strip.

Hope is also offered by dynamic people such as Suleiman Baraka, a Gaza-born, Nasa-trained astrophysicist, who inspires the Strip's youth to reach for the stars. Mr Baraka recently returned to his homeland, telescope in hand, to generate interest in astronomy. Holding his first "star party" this month, he was moved to tears by students who, with his telescope, discovered a sky with "no borders, no fences, no wall". The lesson is plain: with education and the right tools, the sky is only the limit.