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Hamas Shuts Down Gaza English-Language Club

The Hamas-led government in Gaza has shut down an English-language club amid several recent steps to limit cultural activity within the Strip, writes Khaled Kraizim.
Palestinian students take part in a military-style exercise at the courtyard of a high school in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip March 6, 2013. The military-style exercise in the 138 Hamas-run high schools in Gaza was part of a program sanctioned by the Hamas Islamist government to teach students how to use guns. Education officials in Gaza say some 6,000 students have joined the training initiative where only boys can sign up for the voluntary program in and they need their parents' permission to jo
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Mohammad al-Saleh, a 16-year-old from Gaza, loves reading. He is a student intent on studying the English language as soon as he enrolls in college. Bending his head down, he carries his books and walks out of Gaza’s municipal library. He had been working in the library with his peers to put the final touches on a project.

Most young men in Gaza usually try to avoid studying English before college, due to the common perception that it is a hard and complicated language. However, Saleh’s case was different, and his interest in the language was quite peculiar. Yet, the Hamas-affiliated municipality in Gaza stepped on Saleh’s hopes to perfect his language skills — voluntarily and freely, with the help of a trainer — by shutting down an English-teaching club that he was part of.

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