As U.S. college-bound students take SAT or ACT exams, their Palestinian counterparts also prepare for entrance exams, or tawjihi.
But Palestinians in Nablus schools do so despite curfews, violent conflict and severe economic depression. They range from Hanadi Nasrallah, 17, who worries about how to pay for college, to Sally Sa'adeh, 18, who dreams of becoming a journalist.
• Hanadi Nasrallah, 17, Kamal Jumblaat School: “What worries me the most is the unstable, unsecured future of our country, Palestine. We don't feel comfortable in our daily education or study. We find tanks waiting for us at the doors of our schools. We cannot concentrate during classes due to the sound of shooting.”
• Ameed Sa'adeh, 17, Umar Ben Khatab School: “My father has not had a job for more than two years. We have no source of income. The city has been under curfew for so long. Last year students took their [Tawjihi and other] exams during the curfew, with the sound of bullets from Israeli tanks. Many students failed due to months of fear and psychological disturbance. ... I long for freedom and peace. ... I dream that one day I can go to a university overseas, have a good job and have a family of my own.”
• Elias Khuri, 17, Umar Ben Khatab School: “I hope to continue my studies overseas, far away from the sounds of tanks and war.”
• Sally Sa'adeh, 18, Kamal Jumblaat School: “How can we concentrate in this dark and depressing situation when all we hear is tanks, armored carriers and shooting? I pray that God may help us.”
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers