Computers arrive from Craig of craigslist!!

Just in the nick of time for the first day of TYO’s summer programs tomorrow, the computers donated by Craig Newmark of craigslist got to the TYO Nablus Center this afternoon! They had been held up at a checkpoint, and were possibly to be delayed until later this week. But they got in just in time, and we set them up on the locally-made, customized desks in a newly painted classroom!

Check out other pictures of our preparations for the summer on Facebook! And wish us luck with 500 little ones tomorrow 🙂

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TYO sponsors women’s health event in Nablus-area village

Thanks to cooperation with the Palme Center, TYO will host a women’s health event today from 12 – 3 pm in Beit Furik, a small village near Nablus. Our health specialist, Ahmad Hanani, has organized the event, which will provide women with expert medical and psychological information about miscarriages.

The Palme Center brought two women’s health experts from Sweden to the West Bank who will speak to about 50 women in Beit Furik today. Ahmad developed the event based on the visitors’ expertise and the women’s concerns related to problems related to early and mid-term miscarriages that are very common among the village’s population.

Thanks to the Palme Center for offering this wonderful resource, and to Ahmad for his tireless work promoting health in the TYO community!

TYO Volunteers Met Volunteers from the USA

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On Wednesday June 10th 2009, TYO had 17 visitors from the United States. They were from the group, Students Interfaith Peace Project (SIPP).  International Relations Director Nell gave the students a brief overview of TYO and what we do in the Nablus area. I talked about the Volunteer Program and invited our volunteers to introduce themselves to our visitors. Several of the volunteers talked how TYO is important to the kids of Nablus.

After all the introductions, we split the guests and the volunteers into five binational groups and asked them to exchange ideas about words like “Palestine,” “Palestinian,” “conflict,” and “occupation.” After a lively discussion, we enjoyed more casual conversation among teens over falafel sandwiches.

After lunch, we toured the Old City of Nablus and saw many places, which were destroyed by the Israel army. Last but certainly not least, we ate kunafe, a famous Nabulsi dessert.

Though the group went back to Jerusalem after just a few short hours in Nablus, I know they left with a better understanding of what it means to be Palestinian.

-Imad

Intern Journal: A trip down Abraham’s lane….

It is hard to believe it has only been two weeks here at TYO. We have already not only enjoyed the sites of Nablus, but also those of neighboring towns and landscapes. Most recently, we went on a beautiful eight-hour “walk” (that was really a grueling hike) along what is thought to be one of the original paths walked by Abraham through ancient Palestine. After leaving Al Mghaier, a town outside of Ramallah, at around 8:30 in the morning, we trekked for a few hours to the town of Kafer Malek for some fantastic maklouba and a much-needed rest (for me, at least).  A few more hours later, we arrived at our final destination, Taybeh, totally exhausted, but with a huge sense of accomplishment. Taybeh is a beautiful town in the south of the West Bank, known for its  primarily Christian Palestinian community. After a few strolls around town and a visit to the famous local microbrewery (appropriately named Taybeh Brewing Company) the next day, we headed back to Nablus –  home, sweet home.  (The drive, incidentally, took about 40 minutes in comparison to the monstrous nine-hour hike).  Despite our sunburns and epic battles with mosquitoes, it was an absolutely fantastic excursion, filled with incredible sights and fun memories. Welcome to the West Bank!

-Margaret

TYO Teambuilding on the Abraham Path!

Check out some fantastic photos taken by Students of the World teammember Annie Escobar on our hike through the West Bank on Sunday! The entire TYO team hiked from hill to hill, through olive groves and wheat fields, as a teambuilding experience before our Summer Programs start (next Sunday, June 14).

Thanks to Habib, Hijazi, Areej, Montathem, and Ruba of the Abraham Path Palestine team for their fearless guidance through the hills! And to les soeurs de La Sainte Croix de Jerusalem who hosted us overnight in Taybeh. And Maria Khoury and the rest of the Taybeh family who gave us a great tour of their micro-brewery (the only one in Palestine)!

Upcoming cultural events in and around Nablus!

TYO is excited to share news about some great cultural events coming up in and around Nablus!

Our partner, Al Kamandjati Association, is coordinating a Music Days Festival in this period. One highlight will be an international music event on Friday, June 12 in one of the Holy Land’s most significant historical sites: Sebastia. Read more about Sebastia and its historical assets here, and then come join local and international TYO team, as well as other Kamandjati fans and partners for food, sightseeing and music!

There will be a bring-your-own picnic starting at 11 am, and then four international music groups (2 Palestinian groups, as well as an Italian and Norwegian ensemble) will start at 4:30 pm.

Kamandjati will also put on a show at TYO Nablus on Tuesday, June 16!

Finally, there’ll be a performance of La Boheme in Nablus at the new campus of An Najah University on Wednesday, June 17.

For all of you in the West Bank, come on up to Nablus and enjoy the music and sites with the TYO team! And for the rest of you not lucky enough to be here to join in, keep your eyes out for photos…

June 4 is the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

In 1982, the United Nations established June 4 as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. The day was established to recognize the crisis situation faced at that time by Palestinian and Lebanese children in areas of conflict. TYO recognizes the continuing importance of this message in our work for the children of Nablus.

Staff and interns are hard at work preparing for the Summer Session! Interns and staff continue to paint the summer program classrooms, and everyone’s talent and creativity has brought a personal touch to our newly colorful walls!

And TYO welcomes 6 members from Students of the World to our center!