Event at St Andrews Town Hall

On 18th November a most successful event took place for raising the profile of STEPS, providing information, and an opportunity to meet our supporters.

The evening began with food. Our thanks to Jordan Valley Foods for donating a feast of Middle Eastern flavours for a buffet supper.

After appetites had been agreeably satisfied the documentary film by Fida Qishta was shown entitled Where Should the Birds Fly. The title was taken from a poem by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and tells of the Israeli bombardment of Gaza in 2008; not unexpectedly a heart wrenching watch.

There was an opportunity to put questions to a panel of STEPS trustees, chaired by Judith McDonald, which gave further insight into the efforts of STEPS to involve students and the wider community in bringing more Palestinian students to study at St Andrews.

The University has deferred the places of the 2 students who were unable to leave Gaza and the West Bank last year when the bombing of Gaza flared once again. They are also sympathetic to funding for a further 2 students for 2015/16 although this has not yet been finalized.

Thanks to our generous donors, and the grants received, we are now well on the way to supporting a further 2 students at St Andrews, each student place needs a minimum £10,000 in financial support for accommodation, maintenance and return air fare. Judith emphasized the importance of a commitment to a monthly donation in order for STEPS finances to become sustainable. Grateful thanks were expressed to all those who already give their support and to anyone who is presently considering a donation.

The sum of just over £500 was raised directly at this event.