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Hassan Awashra

MSc Plant Biotechnology and Enterprise

Hassan is 23 years old, a graduate of Al-Najah University in Nablus. In Durham he will study for his MSc degree in Plant Biotechnology. His recent work in Palestine has been as an Agribusiness advisor in the environmental division of a Consulting company. He is the owner-manager of an agricultural sales company and has worked on youth training programmes with the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation.

He is an active volunteer in the agricultural economy of the West bank. He has worked with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) to improve farm productivity. His interests are in ways to improve irrigation, fertilising, hydroponics and aquaponics (among other techniques) to improve the use of resources and prevent food insecurity in Palestine and elsewhere.

Hassan enjoys hiking and debating. He is passionate about agricultural development and looks forward to a career to promote modern techniques to promote sustainable agriculture and horticulture and to strengthen food security.

Abrar Eqilan  

MSc Conflict Prevention and Peace Building

Abrar is 27 years old, a graduate of the Islamic University (IUG) of Gaza. Prior to coming to Durham, she worked as the Coordinator of the Palestinian Crescent Society for Relief and Development. She has worked as an English Language instructor and teaching assistant at IUG as well as a volunteer worker with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. She has been active as a translator and in several community groups visiting hospitals and providing support to children in orphanages. 

In 2021, she worked with the Palestinian Crescent Society and MENA Alliances Company to help people manage the effects of the last war in Gaza. She helped over 500 women gain access to psychological support and first aid courses.

She has wide interests in sport, reading, the arts, theatre and plays the piano. Her hopes for the Durham course she will follow are to help her bring together and strengthen her interests in peace, gender, human rights, civic engagement and development.

Miral Makhlouf  

MSc Management, International Business

Miral is 28 years old and a graduate of Bir Zeit University. In Durham she will study for her MSc in Management (International Business). Her background is in the field of fair trade and international marketing where she has worked to improve the social and economic conditions of Palestinian farmers.

She is an active volunteer committed to social development. She is a member of the Palestinian Fair Trade Network and among many other activities is a volunteer with ”We are With You” a campaign group of the Agricultural Development Association.

She enjoys reading, cooking, keeping fit and supports the Holy Family Church Youth Group. Her plans after her year in Durham are to support social and economic development, the empowerment of women and social justice in Palestine. 

Mohammed Salha

MSc Data Science

Mohammed is  25 years old, a graduate in Electrical Engineering from the Islamic University of Gaza who is now studying for his MSc in Data Science. He has worked in the field of electrical distribution in Gaza. He has worked also as a teaching assistant in the university on courses on digital signalling and electronics.

In Gaza he has been active in using social media – You Tube, Facebook – to promote awareness and understanding of new technologies. He is also active in IT networks in Gaza and in promoting IT literacy in his country. 

He is a keen photographer and uploads images of Gaza, its historical sites and everyday life.  He is interested in the application of Data Science in the field of health to improve Gaza’s serious health problems, especially in the field of mental health.

In Durham he is keen not only to study but to show his photography to help people understand Palestine and the culture of its people.