Sheffield student stuck in Gaza starts GoFundMe

Said Zaaneen and his family have been trying to leave Gaza for the last several months.


A Sheffield PhD student from Gaza has started a GoFundMe after months of trying to leave the territory.

Said Zaaneen is currently living in a tent in the Al-Mawasi humanitarian zone in the south of Gaza, with his wife and three young children.

Mr Zaaneen is studying for a PhD in urban studies at the University of Sheffield and was on a leave of absence from the university when the Israel-Hamas war began in earnest.

The GoFundMe has a target of £40,000 and currently has raised over £3,600 towards that goal. The money will go towards funding supplies, accommodation, Visa fees and travel. According to the listing on the website, “Said has lost at least 45 relatives” amidst the Israel-Hamas war since October.

Mr Zaaneen told The Sheffield Tab in November that he was seeking support from the University of Sheffield in his Visa application to cross to Egypt at Rafah – the main refugee crossing point out of the Gaza Strip.

Over the past several months, Mr Zaaneen has been displaced several times and has often been unable to access electricity, running water and an internet connection. In November, he told The Sheffield Tab: “It was a really very tough week for us. We were displaced again and stayed in a makeshift shelter. It is difficult to get internet connection”.

This comes as the case against a Sheffield student connected with pro-Palestinian protests in the city has been dropped. The student was charged after being arrested at a protest in December. A rally planned for a court hearing was cancelled when the charges were dropped.

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