All students from Gaza are Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program scholarship winners. Click here to learn more about the YES Program.
Located on the Mediterranean Sea, Gaza is the commercial and industrial center of the region. Aside from its association to commercial and industrial work, the area is also known for its religious conflicts between Palestinians and Israelis. People from all over the world come to explore the culture, the people, and the historical sites that are still standing.
Family life in Gaza is slowly changing. Though families were once large, due to cultural and religious traditions, high living expenses mean families are shrinking as couples have fewer children. Whether large or small, the father is the leader of the family. The mother is responsible for taking care of the house and children. As the children get older they assume more roles like taking care of the family needs.
Teens regularly go out with their siblings, often to a cafe or visit friends at their home. They like to drink tea, talk, and maybe play some cards. Recently, camping has become very popular among teens. Once in awhile soccer, a very popular sport, is played among friends. For those who live in the urban areas going to the cinema is a fun way to relax.
Traditional dishes of Gaza usually include rice, beef, lamb, vegetables, and some kind of sauce. One of the dishes, mansef, has rice, lamb, yogurt, bread, and nuts. The meals all tend to be spicy. Palestinians drink tea or juice with meals, and afterward, Turkish coffee is served. Because of religious beliefs, pork and alcohol are not served.
Arabic is the official language of the Palestine Arabs living in Gaza. Some people also speak Hebrew because of close proximity to Israel. 99% of people are Muslim, specifically Sunni.