Written by Hamza Abid, RN, MS(c), Oncology Adult/Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Candidate
My name is Hamza Abid, and I am a Palestinian refugee born in Baqa’a Refugee Camp, Jordan. An early-accomplished registered nurse, board certified in the state of California, I currently study as an oncology adult/gerontology clinical nurse specialist at the UC San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing. I dedicated my entire life to help Palestinian refugees in camps in Jordan through several social activism and fundraising events as well as volunteering. My participation in many national and international conferences focused on addressing the health situation in the camps as well as education underscores two important and basic rights for this underprivileged population.
In 2011, I delivered a TED talk about the challenges I personally faced being a refugee, and how one can achieve more with less. Recently, I was invited by the United Nation Secretary-General office to represent all Palestinian refugees in the world at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, which was held at the highest level to reaffirm our shared responsibility to humanity, and to agree to a concrete set of actions to enable all stakeholders – including member states, humanitarian organizations, affected populations, civil society, and the private sector – to better prepare for and respond to crises. My participation in the summit was particularly focused on the health and education crises at the Palestinian refugee camps globally, and other fundamental human rights, in which I delivered a speech and discussed the reality of living in a refugee camp, and how humanitarian commitments are vital to the foundation of basic human rights in the Palestinian refugee camps.
Nursing is not only what we learn at school, read in textbooks, or do in hospitals; it also goes beyond to become a way of living, a lifestyle to follow and a commitment to good. Soon, I will be an advanced practice nurse graduating from one of the world’s leading universities in healthcare, which is going to enrich and strengthen my professional knowledge to better advocate for Palestinian refugees. My mission as a UCSF scholar, to advance health worldwide, is preparing me to be able to carry on my own mission in inviting all underprivileged populations and refugees in the world to change the world starting with themselves. It is encouraging me to start a self-reform before asking for a reform in these communities.