Demier feels grateful for being in Gaza and feels Palestinian herself. “My blood is Palestinian,” she said. This experience was ideal for her to practice her Arabic, as she completed six levels of the language during her study in Malaysia.

Demier’s story inspires many foreigners to come to Gaza and some are even asking her how they can continue their education there. She has also motivated the Gazans to love Gaza from a different perspective and value the life they have. “When people see me here for my masters, they smile,” she said. “I’m the reason for their smile and that makes me happy.”

Life is not about being beautiful or being rich, it’s all about your humanity — and you shouldn’t call yourself human until you feel the pain of others,” Demier said. “There’s life here. If you want to find the real meaning of life, come to Gaza!

This story by our blogger Asmaa Elkhaldi originally appeared on the website Muslim Girl. A version of the article appears on The Turban Times with permission.