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Gaza’s educational resilience spotlighted at WISE11 Summit

Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation speaking at the opening plenary of WISE11 Summit in Doha.
Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation speaking at the opening plenary of WISE11 Summit in Doha.

The 11th edition of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), a global platform established by the Qatar Foundation, concluded on November 29 at the Qatar National Convention Centre.

The two-day summit, held under the theme ‘Creative Fluency: Human Flourishing in the Age of AI,’ emphasised the potential and challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) in education, while also shedding light on the ongoing crisis in Gaza.

Shaikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF), opened the summit by highlighting the foundation’s over years of support for education in Palestine, especially in Gaza.

Shaikha Moza stressed the impact of war on educational institutions, health sectors, and overall development. In the wake of the Israeli aggression in October, 36 Education Above All supported schools and universities were severely affected. She emphasised the vital role education plays in the foundation of a society’s progress and the challenges faced after a ceasefire when rebuilding becomes necessary.

Addressing the role of AI in conflict, Sheikha Moza mentioned how artificial intelligence is used to fabricate stories, falsify facts, and block information that includes atrocities committed by Israeli forces in Gaza and the West Bank.

On the concluding day, Randa Dawoudi, a recipient of the ‘Qatar Scholarship’ from Gaza, moderated a plenary session titled ‘Education in Times of War,’ with a focus on Gaza.

Ameera Harouda, a mother and a journalist from Gaza, was evacuated from the strip with her family during the ongoing war.

Harouda shared the struggles she went through, trying to balance her undertaking to document the crimes committed against civilians in Gaza, with her role as a mother working to keep her children safe, while living under Israeli bombardment for 37 consecutive days.

Harouda also spoke about Israelis targeting schools in Gaza during the ongoing war, depriving children there of their access to education. She added that the war on Gaza turned its schools into shelters for over 1.5 million displaced Palestinians, looking for a safe haven within the walls of these educational institutions, which were not spared from Israeli airstrikes.

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