Palestinian students in Khan Younis develop a Formula 1-type race car with limited resources.
KHAN YOUNIS, GAZA (RECENT - JUNE 15, 2011) REUTERS - Recycled and raring to go. Palestinian students in the Khan Younis Training Centre (KYTC) in Gaza have built a Formula 1-style race car set to compete in the Silverstone Circuit in the UK next month.
With an Israeli blockade in force severely limiting resources, the engineering students had to use recycled parts and manufacture many sections of the car themselves at the centre's workshop, which is run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
The youths developing the race car look forward to the Silverstone contest and say their creation will rival other international creations.
"This is our graduate project and we will participate in an international competition in Britain. The competition is on the 13th of July. Our teacher Ghassan Abu Orf suggested it to us, because he was living in Britain, he told us to participate in the international competition," said team leader Osama Othmani.
The team, comprised of six Palestinian students, are using a motorcycle engine for the black race car body which they bought second hand.
As the young students await the delivery of a number of parts ordered from Italy to arrive, they say their project is proof their spirits are not diminished by the blockade and ongoing tension in the Palestinian enclave.
"This project is to show that we can do anything in order to gain our freedom for our people," said team member Muhammad Najar.
The UK-based Formula Student competition aims to promote engineering talent by challenging university students around the world to design and produce a single seat racing car. The invention will then be tested on its performance by experts selected by the London-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), who organise the event.
The Gaza team is now raising funds to cover their trip to the UK and secure shipment for their car, set to participate in the contest held from 14-17 of July.
Gaza's engineering sector has significantly suffered with the Gaza Strip in its fifth year of a full Israeli blockade by land, air and sea, and with unemployment at 45.2 percent, one of the highest rates in the world, according to a recent United Nations report.