Celebrating 4th of July in Salfit

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On the morning of Tuesday, July 5th, the high-pitched voices of 50 third graders could be heard humming “This land is your land, this land is my land, from California, to the New York Islands…” Had Boy Scouts invaded the TYO Center? Had a Midwest homeroom class been transported to the TYO Center? Neither! A Palestinian classroom had magically transformed into a celebration, all with the help of some games, a little paint, and delicious burgers. Many smiles ensued.

Normally, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, the interns pile into Munir’s car for the windy trek over to Salfit, a nearby Palestinian village, for some extracurricular English classes at their local American Corners library. American Corners is a worldwide program run through the U.S. State Department. In Palestine, its sites aim to share American history and culture while also encouraging intercultural dialogue through literacy. So in that spirit, we celebrated the 4th of July with our Salfit students. Armed with flag coloring sheets, patriotic paint colors, and Independence-themed Bingo, we led various lessons on the most important values we share with our Palestinian brethren. Concepts like “family,” “nation,”  and “pride” are ideas that translate well in any language, and our students were excited to share with us their own holidays, traditions, and pride in their country. Through this special celebration, TYO hopefully imparted some of the best values we all honor on Independence Day. And, of course, what would the 4th of July be without hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream?

Happy (belated) Independence Day from all of us at TYO!

- Alex

Alex is a summer intern at TYO Nablus.

SOW National Team: Trip Compendium

From the Students of the World blog:

It has been almost four weeks, and it still feels like yesterday we were anticipating what this experience would be like. As Jackie’s fortune cookie foretold the night before our departure; “Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.” The days have fused into a collection of memories and revelations, each of us taking different detours on the road we’ve traveled together. Sometimes leading us to different surprises, highlights, and stories to share. Here is a concise exploration of our thoughts looking back on our experience, bittersweet nostalgia on the day we leave.  -Andrea

Over the course of the next week, TYO will post to this blog many of the SOW National Team’s reflections. It was an absolute pleasure hosting them in Nablus the last four weeks. We will miss dearly their passion, energy and commitment to their work. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.

Mr. Zahi Khoury Tours TYO Center

On Thursday, June 23, 2011, Zahi Khoury and his wife, Amal visited the TYO Center. Mr. Khoury, Founder and CEO of the National Beverage Company and Chairman of Partners for a New Beginning Palestine, toured the Center and visited our weekly Thursday Sports Day.

Over a working lunch catered by Nehaya, a Fostering Women’s Entrepreneurs (FWEN) participant, Mr. Khoury discussed TYO’s programming and activities with several program managers. Several FWEN program participants presented their business plans and first steps to Mr. Khoury and received personalized feedback.

TYO is a proud member of Partners for a New Beginning. We were ecstatic to host Mr. Khoury and his wife and look forward to future shared efforts in Palestine.

Welcome SOW National Team!

TYO is delighted to welcome back to its Nablus Center members of Students of the World. This June, the SOW National Team will be in Nablus documenting TYO’s programs and activities.

Welcome back, friends!

Andrea Patiño – Photographer. A native from Bogota, Colombia, Andrea Patiño is in her third year at Duke University majoring in Cultural Anthropology. She has been engaged in documentary photography for about a year now and is very passionate about it. While photography—especially photographing others—is an activity that poses a lot of questions, particularly about ethics, Andrea thinks that this medium is one of the best ways to tell a story.

Jackie Turner – Filmmaker. Jackie Turner is in her third year at the University of Michigan, majoring in Program in the Environment and Screen Arts and Cultures and looking towards a career in environmental and social documentary.  At U of M, Jackie is an executive producer and board member of M-agination Films, a student-run production organization focused on helping connect students from all disciplines who want to make films with the resources to do so.  She has produced short documentary films about her previous travels to Guatemala, Kenya and Costa Rica.

Madeline Lewis – Development Coordinator. Madeline Lewis is a third year Foreign Affairs major at the University of Virginia’s Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics. She has a passion for anything international and is excited about her position on the 2011 SOW National team as the Development Coordinator. Born and raised in Dallas, Madeline’s love for traveling led her to Charlottesville for college, where she has immersed herself in hiking adventures and the history surrounding her college town.

Sarah Osman – Journalist. Sarah Osman is a senior at the University of Michigan majoring in English and Communications. She is originally from New Jersey but her home is now in Commerce, MI.  She enjoys writing and creating concepts for LEAD Magazine as the Creative Director.

Kate Simpson – Producer. Kate is a senior majoring in philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. Through riding in a charity bicycle tour across North America, Kate discovered her love of nonprofits and hopes to someday have a career in that field. She is excited to be a part of Students of the World because it will allow her to follow her passion for serving others, challenge her boundaries, and to further explore the world.

Jon Kasbe – Assistant Filmmaker. Jon is a curious filmmaker at UNC-Chapel Hill majoring in media production. Last semester, Jon worked with The Daily Tar Heel creating online videos for the multimedia page. Jon is currently freelancing as a multimedia journalist for Reese Felts Digital News, an innovative digital news publication. Jon is also the director of photography for the one-hour drama “Above The Fold,” a scripted student web/TV show.

Teaching and Tweeting: Megan and Mark’s Week With the Zajel Program at An Najah University

Last week, Mark and I taught a five-day seminar series on Social Media for the Zajel Summer Program at An Najah University.

We focused primarily on how to use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogs to promote your campus club, business, non-profit organization and even yourself online. Our approach to teaching these workshops was to not only provide more information about popular social networking tools but to also offer a chance to practice using them with guidance from teachers who use these applications on a regular basis.

Our students had a great time practicing creating Facebook pages and blogs dedicated to a range of topics, including a fake campaign to create an artificial sea in Nablus (the “We Need a Sea in Nablus” Facebook page). As a Twitter enthusiast, I most enjoyed sharing my love of tweeting with my students. Twitter was a site that everyone in the class had heard of but didn’t know much about. They were keen to learn more about it and we helped them to set up their own accounts. We also offered tips on how to link different social media accounts to each other in order to maximize your online audience. Continue reading

First Summer Workshop for TYO-MEPI Literacy Collaboration

On Saturday, May 14, 2011 Tomorrow’s Youth Organization completed the first summer workshop of the TYO-MEPI literacy collaboration. This session focused on training this summer’s old and new volunteers on how to use Scholastic’s My Arabic library to encourage reading and improve literacy in Nablus’ children.  For more information on this collaboration, read: TYO launches a new literacy project in partnership with MEPI.

FWEN Participants show goods at USCG Bazaar

On Thursday, May 12, 2011 FWEN participants Afnan of Coffee Roasters and Heba and Hana of H2 Fashion Design displayed their goods at a bazaar, in Jerusalem, in support of women entrepreneurs sponsored by the United States Consulate General in Jerusalem.

TYO and the National Children’s Museum Celebrate Nablus!

On Saturday April 9, TYO and partner, The National Children’s Museum (NCM), celebrated the 1-year mark of the Launch Zone’s exhibits about Nablus, which has provided communities with incite to children’s lives in the city. Over the past year, Launch Zone visitors from across the United States have learned about Nabulsi food, play, and celebrations through three interactive exhibits created in collaboration between TYO and NCM. Throughout the festive day, families enjoyed delicious Arabic food, arts and crafts activities, and storytelling from around the world.

 

Attendees snacked on delicious Maamoul, Spinach Fatayer, Manaeesh with Zaatar, and Hummus!

In addition, TYO proudly unveiled the Suwarna (Our Pictures) photography exhibit for the fist time in the US! Suwarna is a collection of images taken by the participants in the Triple Exposure Program, a TYO initiative that promotes art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.

Suwarna Images on display at the Launch Zone

The Suwarna and the Nablus Celebrations exhibits will be displayed at NCM’s Launch Zone at the National Harbor for only a few more weeks. Take advantage of the spring weather with a day at the Harbor and catch them before they’re gone!

The TYO Team sends a special message of gratitude to our friends at NCM for very special day and to all the families who joined in the fun!

 

Stitching a Palestinian design at the Nablus Celebration

 

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