Medical Student Visits Family, Gets Displaced with Them

Evacuation has an exorbitant price tag and there is no support for those who manage to do so.

Valentine Wiggin
2 min readApr 6, 2024
A screenshot of a GoFundMe titled “With your help, hope will return to our family” with 1,547 Euros raised out of 60,000 Euro goal. This GoFundMe features a woman in a black hijab and a blue overshirt, two boys in suits, and a two young men and a young boy in a selfie.
Screenshot by me. GoFundMe by Raneem Salama

Today, Raneem Salama, a medical student at the Mansoura University in Egypt, personally reached out to me to help him raise funds to leave Rafah. As a medical student, he has two years left to complete in his studies. Medical school is notorious for being one of the most stressful things someone can do. Mountains of information and tremendous pressure to know it all like it’s the back of your hand are things that every medical student experiences.

Taking a break from his strenuous studies, Raneem visited his family shortly before October 7th. After that, he found himself displaced with his family of 13 wondering if he can survive, let alone return to his studies. He went from learning how to help people experiencing medical problems to watching them suffer firsthand with no way to help them.

This family lives “in constant anxiety, tension, and fear” after their home was “destroyed and burned” in their home city of Khan Yunis. After this, they fled to Rafah hoping to seek refuge. Currently, the family is crowdfunding to raise a total of 60,000 Euros or $65,097.00. As of the time of writing, they have raised only 1,574 Euros or around $1707.71. This means that they have less than one week to raise enough money for all of them to leave Rafah.

It’s no secret that the cost of leaving Gaza has a staggering price tag of thousands of dollars per person. One fixer who works at this crossing says that “prices are increasing by the day” and that the Rafah crossing has “turned into a black market” in which people have to out-bid each other to cross.

Even for those who manage to cover the cost of their evacuation, there’s no guarantee of safety. For one thing, Gazans may be still not be able to obtain permits, even if they cover the exorbitant price. Even Egyptian nationals in Gaza have to pay to enter their country, such as when an Egyptian father of eight was asked for $6500 to cover entry into his, his wife’s, and his children’s entry into Egypt.

For the lucky few who do manage to evacuate, these fees do not cover additional costs like transportation, housing, or obtaining the appropriate documents needed to live life as normal. In addition to that, there are little, if any supports available for them to adjust to their new lives. Even under the best of circumstances, moving to another country can be a difficult adjustment. Having to do so after a traumatic displacement only compounds the factors that make the transition to a new country more difficult.



Valentine Wiggin

Death-positive, sex-positive, and LGBTQ-affirming Christian. Gen Z. I hate onions. She/her