New Photo of the Week on the Triple Exposure website!

Check out this week’s photo of the week by Triple Exposure photography student Doha, as described by TYO intern Mathilda:

Twelve year old Doha is from Khallet-al Amood, Nablus. Like many of the Triple Exposure kids, she loves to photograph her siblings. She took this photo of her one year old brother, Omar, on the terrace when he was crying out for their mother.

A sneak peak!

“Triple Exposure” is an initiative of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to promote art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.

Intern Journal: Climb Every Mountain, Ford Every Stream

The ability of fellow passengers to doze off during the hour service ride between Nablus and Ramallah still confounds me.  Granted, I’m no seasoned commuter, but with about a dozen rides to boast, I still find that I can barely tear my eyes away from the impressive rolling hills long enough to change the track on my iPod.   There is something truly spellbinding about the way those coveted hills glisten, illuminated by the late afternoon sun’s ebbing rays as they subside beyond the ridge.  Yes, when there are no shrieking babies involved, the ride is a serene one, lending itself to introspection and joyful reflection.

Whether the following adventure is to be attributed to these weekly drives or to the breathtaking, expansive view of the Nabulsi hills we daily enjoy from the TYO center is still unclear, but last week we interns were inspired to go “frolic through the hills.”  The weather on Saturday was splendid: a sunny spring day with clear blue skies, perfect for a spontaneous stroll through the wadi.  The valley’s bending stream was to be our sole guide.  It apparently leads all the way to the Wadi Badan village, which was our notional destination as we stepped out of the cab at the edge of the highway and began our descent down to the babbling brook…we never made it to Wadi Badan.

Less than ten minutes into our hike, as we neared the bottom of the ravine and paused to take in the pristine view, there was a rustle 100 meters ahead, and a wild boar bolted out of the brush, racing along our projected path (i.e. the water) to Wadi Badan.  More so to avoid having to constantly cross the stream than to avoid a second encounter with Pumba’s cousin (or so we told ourselves), we decided to continue toward Wadi Badan at higher ground.  About an hour and a number of clumsy hands-first falls into thistle bushes later, we realized that the ascent to reach the mountain’s summit was interminable, and we spent the latter half of the next two hours delicately retracing our steps back to the water. After our four hours of “frolicking”, we found ourselves back on the highway, about a one-minute drive down the road from where we had begun our excursion.

Did we have our Sound of Music moments?—We most definitely did.  Sure, they were interspersed with periods of screeches as we fled away from clusters of spiders and centipedes and with enough run-ins with hostile plants to keep me occupied with splinter removal for the next two days; but each time we stopped to catch our breath or to examine the latest scrape or bruise, there was the inevitable: “Just look at this view!”

-Leila

Leila is an intern at TYO Nablus.

 

April 9: A Children’s Photography Exhibition at the National Children’s Museum in Maryland!

The West Bank is a place that never fails to attract media attention for its politics and conflict and history, but what gets much less attention is what the life of a Palestinian is really like. Even less known is what the life of a Palestinian child is like, since, being too young to write novels or poems or articles or songs, younger Palestinian children are usually forced to allow the older generations to speak for them. The story of how a young boy or girl grows up to become the person we then read about in the news is so rarely told, and rarely is it told without the interference of someone else’s interpretation.

The simplicity of a point-and-shoot digital camera allows us to begin to breach this gap in storytelling and expression. Since 2009, students at TYO have been taking home digital cameras to photograph and share their lives. TYO’s exhibition of the children’s photography, through an initiative of the Triple Exposure project, ran in the West Bank last year.

It is now moving to the States for the first time!  Come see their photography at an event on April 9 to be held at the National Children’s Museum in National Harbor, Maryland.

What: Nablus Celebration: food, activities, storytelling, photography, and more
Where: The NCM Launch Zone, 112 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD 20745 Launch Google Maps
When: Saturday, April 9, 2011 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Who: Open to the public and family friendly!
Cost: FREE!

We hope you can join us!

“Triple Exposure” is an initiative of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to promote art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.

New Photo Story on the Triple Exposure website!

Check out this week’s photo story by Triple Exposure photography student Mohammed, as described by TYO intern Mathilda:

Mohammad has a brilliant sense of humour and brings a lot of laughter to class. This shines through in his photos too. Rather than just photographing what he sees around him, he created his own subject out of a piece of cactus, and went on to arrange it in different locations so that he could experiment with perspective and light to produce these distinct and memorable images.

A sneak peak!

“Triple Exposure” is an initiative of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to promote art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.

World Water Day 2011: Views on water from TYO kids

On World Water Day 2011, many of us will pause in the rhythm of our daily lives to think about the increasingly pressing relevance of water issues to global concerns. Some of us are less affected by these problems than others, some parts of the world face challenges of water scarcity, others struggle with devastating flooding.

Water shortage is widely known to be a pressing challenge in the Middle East and the West Bank. Please take a moment to view the photos below, which were taken by Triple Exposure photography students during a photo assignment to illustrate the meaning of water in their lives.

Triple Exposure students in an empty swimming pool

A "water fountain" in the center of Nablus

Fun and play with water(falls)

Another swimming pool, lying empty even during rainy season

A "swimming pool" at a park near Nablus

Want to read more about water issues around the world and learn what you can do to address these challenges globally and in the West Bank? Visit the World Water Day website!

“Triple Exposure” is an initiative of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to promote art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.

New Photo of the Week on the Triple Exposure website!

Check out the latest photo of the week by Triple Exposure photo student Odai! The photo was posted by TYO intern Mathilda on the Triple Exposure website and is available for viewing now.

A sneak preview:

“Triple Exposure” is an initiative of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to promote art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.

Intern Journal: Percussive Plastic Plates…TYO style

I’ve just sent my music students bounding home with their newly fashioned “music shakers”…I fully expect to incur the wrath of their parents sometime in the next two days.  Call them what you will—maracas, plastic plate tambourines, or handheld shakers—whatever the nomenclature, Monday’s class activity yielded twelve beautifully decorated agents of NOISE.  Plastic plates (strangely, paper plates are quite the rarity here in Nablus), popcorn kernels, a stapler, scissors, and some colorful construction paper and streamers are all it took to generate an entire symphonic section of percussive instruments.  As we constructed and festooned our instruments we jammed out to an eclectic, world music mix, which featured everything from Fairouz and Nancy Ajram to the Beatles and the Gypsy Kings.  Although Nancy Ajram was the crowd favorite—the girls knew every single word of “Ana Yalli Bahebbak” by heart— “Octopus’s Garden” inspired some enthusiastic head nods in time to the beat as well as a brief explanation of the timelessness of the British sixties pop sensation.

Amazingly, there was only one maracas fiasco this afternoon: two improperly fastened plates, one overzealous shake, and the resulting shower of corn kernels sent us all into hysterics and laughter to the point of tears.   During the last ten minutes of class, and post-kernel cleanup, students used their latest creations to play the two bar rhythm written on the whiteboard.  Yes, that’s right, my students can now read and clap to (or shake a tambourine to) rhythm.  We’ve covered all the basics: quarter, half, and whole notes and rests; treble and bass clefs, measures and 4/4 time.  Needless to say I’m so proud of the youth’s music literacy progress over these past few weeks, but they are especially deserving of praise today given that there was a hiatus from class all of last week.

Hoping my students will afford their parents a few moments of peace,

Leila

Leila is an intern at TYO Nablus.

New Photo of the Week on the Triple Exposure website!

Check out the latest photo of the week, from a class trip to a Sebastia, a village near Nablus with Roman ruins and stunning landscape views. The photo was posted by TYO intern Mathilda on the Triple Exposure website and is available for viewing now!

A sneak preview:

“Triple Exposure” is an initiative of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to promote art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.

The lighter side of growing up in Palestine

One of my favorite things about working with Triple Exposure since September of 2009 has been getting to watch the kids grow up. Our photography and mural art classes are aimed at kids around 11 years old and up; it is usually that age group that is most open to discussing their identities, beginning to learn a craft, and expressing their creativity and emotions through their art.

This means that I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the universal experience of turning into a teenager: Palestinian edition. As Project Coordinator, I teach a photography class each session and get to know these groups of kids closely, but I’m also responsible for tracking the participation and progress of the kids in the three other photography and mural art classes. So there’s never a shortage of formerly shy and unassuming girls and boys who will one day come to class or walk into my office with a new saunter in their step, a new and stylish hairdo, jeans now tucked low or worn tight, newly matching handbags and shoes… the list goes ever on. My barely-contained giggles never cease.

Let me provide a few examples.

Meet Mohammed Tibi:

and Mumin Salhi:

The above photos are from the photography class I taught in the fall of 2009.

Here are Mohammed (bottom right, in the green shirt)

and Mumin (on the left below) a year later at the “Suwarna” Children’s Photography Exhibition in Nablus. Notice the hair and “I’m a man” stances?

Cool as ice! But always sweet, and always supremely lovable.

Mohammed at the "Suwarna" Children's Photography Exhibition

- Doris, Project Coordinator

“Triple Exposure” is an initiative of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to promote art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.

Intern Journal: Maloukhieh and M’jedderah and Maqloubeh—Oh my!

I confess: having the women in my computer literacy class create a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation on their most prized Arabic recipes was more than just an exercise in PowerPoint acquisition skills.   Maqloubeh, Mouloukhieh, M’jedderah—all my favorite Middle Eastern dishes coincidentally begin with the letter “m,” often making it impossible for me to distinguish between each one—are just a few of the Arabic meals that have rendered my stomach joyful these past few months in the Middle East.  So, at the start of Tuesday’s computer class I found myself in an auspicious position.  I wanted to learn more about the savory Palestinian dishes that I’ve grown to adore.  For which traditional occasions are these dishes usually cooked? Which ingredients will I need to acquire when I attempt to cook musakhan for family and friends back home? Etc.   What I did not count on, however, was a dozen lunch and dinner invitations by the end of class.  As the women shuffled out of class that morning, each one extended a gracious “Ahlan wa Sahlan” to their homes: “I’ll make you the best maloukhieh you have ever tasted!” and “Come over today after class, drink tea at my home, meet the family, and tell me what you think of my m’jedderah.”

This past Saturday marked the first of what I hope will be many more house visits with community members.  Hanin, the outstanding translator in my computer and fitness classes, invited both Mathilda and me to her home Saturday evening to meet her husband, two sons, and daughter Nadia.  Over meat and cheese-stuffed pastries, sage tea, and Nescafe cake (yes, you read correctly, Nescafe cake…it’s delicious), Hanin shared with us her Palestinian narrative:  she told stories of love and loss, frustration and hope; yes, she and her husband relished the chance to bestow upon us some of that unwavering Palestinian humor—Qaddafi’s peculiar fashion sense was the source of a good laugh or two.   We also learned how connected Hanin and her husband felt to their homeland: given her mastery of the English language and her experience as a translator, she had been offered the opportunity to immigrate to Canada on more than one occasion; each time she resolutely refused, citing her unwillingness to break from her Palestinian roots.

As we realized that three hours had flown by and that the late hour alone beckoned for our return to the TYO Center, we said goodbye to our new friends, toting some Nescafe cake and other goodies for the road and promising Nadia that we would return again soon for some more cross-cultural “girl talk.”

Here’s to many more encounters with delicious Palestinian cuisine in the coming weeks!

- Leila

Leila is an intern at TYO Nablus.

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