Press Release Regarding the First Graduation Ceremony of "IRADE" Vocational Rehabilitation and Training Center of the Islamic University of Gaza, Gaza Strip, 17 February 2013

Kudüs Başkonsolosluğu 17.02.2013

The First Graduation Ceremony of "IRADE" Vocational Rehabilitation and Training Center of the Islamic University of Gaza was held in Gaza Strip on 17 February 2013 Israel's Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and January 2009, left behind nearly 1,400 Palestinians dead and over 4,000 wounded. Thousands have become disabled.

In order to reintegrate those disabled Palestinians back to the society and pave the way for their involvement in the economic life, the Government of Türkiye in cooperation with the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), and under the patronage of H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,the Prime Minister of the Republic of Türkiye, launched IRADE Vocational Rehabilitation and Training Project for the Disabled of Gaza War (IRADE) on 18 March 2012.

The project was conducted by Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) and costed 4 million US Dollars in total.

In this regard, the construction of IRADE building, which consists of three floors on approximately 860 square meters land, was concluded at the end of 2012. The two floors of the building are designed as vocational training workshops (carpentry, handicrafts, furniture,aluminum, ceramic, wood carving, phone reparation, graphic design etc.),academic and information systems, computer classes, meeting rooms and IRADEmanagement offices. In addition to these, there is a wide showroom on the second floor of the building in which all the works of the trainees are displayed and sold. All building facilities are equipped with modern devices and equipment necessary to serve the beneficiaries. Of importance, the design of the building and its interior facilities are designed in a way to serve the special needs of people with disabilities. 11 specially equipped vehicles are also donated in order to meet the daily transportation needs of the physically disabled, between their homes and IRADE.

Approximately 400 disabled Palestinians attended the first phase of the vocational and professional training programs of IRADE. The Graduation Ceremony of those who successfully accomplished the programs, was held in IRADE Center of the Islamic University of Gaza, on 17 February 2013 with the participation of H.E. Ambassador Şakir Özkan Torunlar,Consul General of Türkiye in Jerusalem, Mr. Jamal Khoudari, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of IUG, Mr. Kürşad Mahmad, TİKA Coordinator of Palestine, Dr.Kamalin Shaath, IUG President, and the members of Academia and the families of graduates.

During the ceremony Ambassador Torunlar congratulated the trainees and presented them their diplomas. In his speech AmbassadorTorunlar emphasized that the Government of the Republic of Türkiye and the Turkish people will uninterruptedly continue to give utmost support to the State of Palestine as well as to the Palestinian people in the framework of the existing fraternal relations. Ambassador Torunlar also stressed that this support is a reflection of Türkiye's determination to end the suffering of Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip under blockade which the UN Security Council decided to be lifted immediately.

Jamal Khoudari, welcomed the support of the Government of the Republic of Türkiye and expressed his gratitude inparticular to H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Türkiye during the ceremony, noting that the Turkish support in the fields of education, health and infrastructure had played a significant role in the development of Gaza. Jamal Khoudari also stressed that they have used each and every penny of this support on the right track.

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