Skip to main content

Will debt and poor financial prospects close Gaza's Al-Azhar Institute?

Al-Azhar's administration is calling for funds in the face of declining enrollment and rising debt.
A general view taken on August 11, 2015 shows the Al-Azhar University, which was built on the former Jewish settlement of Netzarim, south of Gaza City, as Palestinians prepare to mark the tenth anniversary of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Following the departure of the last Jewish settlers from Gaza in August 2005, the Israeli army demolished houses and dismantled its equipment before formally handing over the land to the Palestinian Authority. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED        (Photo credit should read
Read in 

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Palestinian Al-Azhar Institute, founded in 1955, is reeling from a financial crisis that could close it down. The institute has seen a 50% drop in student enrollment, from 2,000 students in the 1990s to 1,000 today.

The institute was one of the first Palestinian educational institutions in the Gaza Strip to offer religious and academic education concurrently. It provides classes from elementary to university levels and abides by the same educational policies, terms of acceptance, curriculum, examination system and certification process adopted by Al-Azhar in Egypt. The institute offers several specialized religious courses in two preparatory and secondary schools free of charge.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.