Growing up in Gaza, Haytham Besaiso was constantly surrounded by some of the structures that make life in the Strip challenging. Being a portion of land that is constantly undergoing radical changes enforced by a harsh occupation, Palestinians who grow up there face unique challenges. Fortunately, many of them, like Haytham, are actively looking for ways to better themselves and in turn, better their homes.
After applying for a Hani Qaddumi scholarship, Haytham was able to realize some of his own goals in eventually rebuilding a better life for Gazans. He also received other scholarships and the Gaza University Excellence Award. In July, Haytham will begin his PhD at the University of Manchester, in international construction arbitration. The ambitious young student says that he chose this field because he understands the essential qualities of construction, especially in a place like Gaza. He also states that with each construction project comes a certain amount of disputes.
“In Gaza, we face many problems and challenges because of the blockade. The blockade by definition means every project must be delayed. Might be strange in other contexts, but for us it’s a unique issue that we face with each project. For example, if we want to build a hospital, there are all these materials we need, but for each item we need to get approval,” says Haytham.
Given the issues that plague the environment, students like Haytham are the future. And he knows that his skill set are invaluable to the Strip and its inhabitants. “After completing my PhD, I would like to return to Gaza to make a positive difference, using my unique expertise to guide the process to improvement.”
To read more empowering stories about students like Haytham, who are working to build a better future for themselves and the future of Palestine, visit the Hani Qaddumi Scholarship Foundation official website.