TYO Founder Hani Masri on Larry King Live

Hani Masri, TYO’s Founder and President, appeared on Larry King Live on Sunday night, along with Tony Blair, Salam Fayad, Ehud Barak and Haim Saban. Check out part of the show online here, or read the transcript below.

HANI MASRI, FOUNDER, TOMORROW’S YOUTH ORGANIZATION: That’s a good question, Larry. I mean we have been into this process for 15 years. And nothing has happened so far.

And I think most the majority of the Palestinians and the Israelis want a two-state solution. And — but it is frustrating. The process is very frustrating. That is why I have in the last few years paid attention to children and women in Palestine, and we started the program of helping children and women by establishing TYO.

But I hope that something will happen eventually. But the process is very difficult and very frustrating, but there is no other way except that we do a peace agreement somehow.

KING: Haim Saban, you live in America. What role should the United States be playing? Are you — are you satisfied with the role that the United States is playing with the speech made by Secretary Clinton the other day at your forum?

SABAN: I am — yes, Secretary Clinton opened the Saban Forum in Washington on Friday. And she made a very compelling speech, and I really agree with I would say 99.9 percent of her thoughts as she put them forth.

You asked Hani a minute ago why isn’t peace happening. You know it’s a very complicated area loaded with emotions, and at the moment, you know, the leaders on both sides I think are very well intended but at the same time they need some more encouragement.

And what we’re hoping is that the United States will supply that encouragement and basically the safety net that both the Israelis and the Palestinians need, because there are significant risks involved for both sides, so the United States absolutely can play a very significant role. And I believe that this administration has every intent to do so.

KING: Hani, do you have faith in the American commitment in this?

MASRI: I do, but this is a very difficult question to answer because in the last 15 years different administrations have dealt with this issue. Nothing have happened. In the meantime, we have 60 percent of the Palestinians today are under the age of 16.

There are social and cultural problems. There are issues that have to deal with the occupation and the right of freedom for people, and we must move while the politicians are negotiating. We must move on the issues of helping children, helping the economy of the Palestinians.

It is very difficult situation. Moving on helping women, empowering them to take a role in society, and that is why about a few weeks ago I’ve done this program which we chaired by Quincy Jones and Terry McAuliffe and we honored Cherie Blair, and we honored President Clinton.

And that is to bring awareness to the issues, the main issues, which is while the politicians are talking, we are going to do programs on the ground and expand our programs in terms of helping children and women in the whole — in that whole region.

And as an American I say that it’s my duty. I cannot help in the political process. That’s not my job and we are there to be supportive of both leadership, no question, on both sides want to achieve an agreement. But in the meantime, we have to move on and help and do something on the ground.

KING: All right.

MASRI: And Americans always are givers, and as an American I want to give something of my life to the people of the area.

Full transcript at http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1012/12/lkl.01.html


The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and The Portland Trust Visit FWEN at TYO

Nicola samples FWEN participant Nehaya’s homemade Palestinian cuisine

Martin Kaye, a trustee of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (CBFW) and Nicola Cobbold, Managing Director of The Portland Trust visited the Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in Nablus (FWEN) project at TYO on Wednesday, November 24, 2010. Their visit came at the height of the project’s first phase as the women behind the ten leading business plans work diligently to advance their proposals and determine the support (financial, in-kind and supervisory) required for their successful development and implementation as pilot businesses.

The FWEN participants created booths displaying their business concepts and sample products to the visitors and received personalized feedback and suggestions. Several invited guests took the opportunity to purchase jars of specialty coffee from Rima and Afnan and clothing from H2 Fashion Design. The Portland Trust contracted Sahar to design a flyer for an upcoming event.

Mr. Kaye and Ms. Cobbold also met with the FWEN Steering Committee, comprised of leaders from diverse areas of the public and private sectors in the West Bank, who provide guidance and expertise within the context of the Nablus economy to the young businesswomen. Katie Highet, Client Outreach and Account Manager at long-time partner SoukTel, also joined the meeting. They shared a stimulating session on the possibilities and challenges of securing funding for the innovative business plans.

Mrs. Blair and Hani Masri, a Palestinian American businessman and founder of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, launched the FWEN project as a 2009 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action. The Small Enterprise Center (SEC) in Ramallah, the technical partner for this project, provides invaluable and ongoing training and mentoring support. At the 2010 CGI conference, TYO signed a new three-way CGI commitment with CBFW and SoukTel to offer FWEN participants and their mentors cutting-edge mobile technologies to launch and advance their businesses.

TYO Gala: President Clinton praises TYO as a promising solution

Last week, Tomorrow’s Youth Organization came out in Washington, DC with a series of events including our first ever Gala on October 21, 2010. We celebrated our successes from the last three years in Nablus and announced exciting expansion plans as we honored our valued supporters including President Bill Clinton, former UK First Lady Cherie Blair and music legend Quincy Jones. We are grateful that event co-chairs, Ambassador Yousef al Otaiba, Samia Farouki and Terry McAuliffe also played a huge role in the week’s proceedings.

The TYO Gala reflected our distinctive mix of engagement, passion, innovation and high-quality including a performance by the Dupont Park Children’s Choir of Washington, DC who sang the song that Quincy Jones has donated to TYO, Tomorrow, after a moving introduction from Mr. Jones himself. The event highlighted the urgent need for innovative programming for children and women in the West Bank and the broader Middle East. Another inspiring theme of the week and the Gala presentation was the extraordinary potential of Middle Eastern women as a lever for social change.

The success of our Gala was due in part to the presence of our distinguished honorees: President Bill Clinton, Cherie Blair and Quincy Jones. Their remarks stirred the 400+ guests, who were also inspired by the promise they saw in our participants through stunning large-scale audiovisual presentations throughout the evening (like this short video), as well as past and present TYO team members in attendance at the Gala.

Former President Clinton praised TYO’s work as a promising solution for the formidable challenges we face in the Middle East. He said that TYO “empower[s] women… increases[s] educational opportunities and frankly involve[s] more social empowerment without which you can’t have a balanced society.”

TYO was also thrilled to honor Cherie Blair, founder of TYO ally Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (CBFW) with whom we have enjoyed enormous success through our collaboration Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in Nablus. Mrs. Blair acknowledged the power of our cooperation: “Together we’re enabling women to develop and build on their business talents, and thus, to help themselves, their families, and wider society…” And, she urged the audience to support our efforts, “every dollar you spend on [our work] is returned a thousand fold…Come to the Middle East and see the potential is there.”

Gala emcee and co-chair, Terry McAuliffe, echoed President Clinton and Mrs. Blair’s remarks: “If we truly want peace in the Middle East, it is about helping people have a better future. We have got to give these children an education. We have got to help women better themselves.”

We shared, we listened, we celebrated; but most of all, we raised awareness about the open hearts and tremendous possibility of children and women in the Middle East. It was incredible! A huge thanks to those of you who attended, had some role in the Gala, or are part of the TYO community in another way. And ahlan wa sahlan – come get involved – to those of you who aren’t yet.

TYO humbly thanks its generous sponsors that supported this event, including the PalTel Group Foundation, Mohamed S. Farsi Foundation, Abercrombie & Kent, FedEx, Dewey and LeBoeuf, William Haughey, Raj Fernando, Christophe Jungels-Winkler, A. Huda and Samia Farouki, Terry and Dorothy McAuliffe and Capital Corporation.

TYO Event week with Bill Clinton, Quincy Jones, Cherie Blair

What a week! TYO has come out in Washington, and we did it with a splash! Check out some video and commentary at the links below – more coming soon… Here’s the TYO team onstage at the Gala last night with Bill Clinton, Quincy Jones, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, event chairs Terry McAuliffe and Samia Farouki and TYO Founder Hani Masri!

Photo Credit: Davide De Pas Photography


They are Calling Out for Bill Clinton’s Magic – The Washington Note | October 22, 2010

Clinton was at DC’s Ritz Carlton to keynote along with former British first lady and Matrix Chambers legal firm legend Cherie Blair, chair and founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, a fundraising gala for a surprisingly successful NGO that works with young children and women in Palestine.

Terry McAuliffe, Bill Clinton, etc. at “Tomorrow’s Youth” Gala – Blue Virginia | October 22, 2010

I had a great time last night at the “Tomorrow’s Youth Organization” gala at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC. Thanks to Terry McAuliffe and Levar Stoney for the invitation. Highlights included meeting Cherie Blair and finally getting to shake Bill Clinton’s hand. [See link for author’s video and photos]

Tomorrow’s Youth Organization hosts Bill Clinton – Palestine Note | October 22, 2010

Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, an NGO whose mission is to empower women and children of Palestine, hosted former US President Bill Clinton on Thursday. The event took place in Washington, DC and keynote speakers included former British first lady and Matrix Chambers legal firm legend Cherie Blair, chair and founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.

Tomorrow’s Youth Organization – DJ OZ | October 22, 2010

Last night I had the honor of DJing the first annual Tomorrow’s Youth Organization Gala at the Ritz Carlton. It was an amazing event for an amazing organization. Honored guests included Pres. Bill Clinton, Quincy Jones and Cherie Blair (wife of Former PM Tony Blair).

Tomorrow’s Youth Organization Gala – The Washington Scene | October 25, 2010

The ballroom at The Ritz -Carlton was filled to capacity last night when co-chairs Terry McAuliffe and Samia Farouki hosted a gala for the first time to benefit Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, a group whose mission is to work in disadvantaged areas of the Middle East to help children, teens and their parents build strong, responsible communities. TYO is the brainchild of Hani Masri who founded the organization in 2007 with a vision and a mission to improve the lives of those suffering from poverty and violence.

More from TYO soon…

Update from Washington: President William J. Clinton, Cherie Blair, Quincy Jones, and others to attend TYO events!

As the new semester kicks off in Nablus, TYO is also busy preparing for a week of events in Washington, DC later this month.

The fun will kick off on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at Café Milano where advocates of TYO will gather for “A Night for Tomorrow’s Youth.” At the event, sponsored by Raj Fernando, old friends and new will enjoy a night of great conversation, food, and music to benefit TYO.

On Wednesday, October 20, 2010, TYO is pleased to announce that we are cooperating with a panel the New America Foundation and Palestine Note to organize an international policy forum on Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Middle East. In a discussion moderated by Steve Clemons, Director American Strategy Program at New America Foundation and publisher of the Washington Note, the panelists will address related challenges and opportunities from their varied perspectives as academics, government officials, and civil society practitioners. For our contribution, TYO will share lessons learned from our work fostering female entrepreneurs with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women in Nablus. Held at the New America Foundation (1899 L Street NW, 4th Floor), this event is open to the public. Please monitor the TYO blog and the New America Foundation’s event calendar for details.

Following the panel discussion, TYO will participate in a Salon dinner hosted by Franco Nuschese and a moderated by Steve Clemons that will bring together the panelists, honored guest, Cherie Blair, and top policy and media personalities for a high level, open format discussion on the same topic.

This exciting week of events will culminate on Thursday, October 21, with Tomorrow’s Youth Organization’s First Ever Gala! The Gala, held at the Ritz-Carlton, will celebrate the work of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, highlighting successes from the past three years in Nablus and upcoming expansion to Lebanon and Cairo. We are thrilled to announce that will honor attendees President William J. Clinton and Cherie Blair for their inspiring work on behalf of women and children worldwide. We also look forward to hosting a diverse and dynamic group of supporters and advocates from the business, development, education, and policy communities from the United States, Europe, Middle East and beyond.

Stay tuned to the TYO blog and Twitter feed for news and updates as we move closer to our debut in Washington!

For media inquiries please contact: Andrea Smith at 703-893-1143 or andrea@tomorrowsyouth.org .

Mobile solutions for Arab Women Entrepreneurs

TYO is thrilled about our new three-way Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) commitment with long-time partners, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and SoukTel. We will expand our work with each organization and coordinate efforts in order to offer women entrepreneurs cutting-edge mobile technologies to advance the launch and take-off of their businesses.

Specifically, our 2010 CGI Commitment to Action has two components:

  1. Distribution lists will be used by TYO and other partners to share useful information with the women in our entrepreneurship programs including business tips, financial management advice and also knowledge related to women’s health, motherhood and personal development. Once they launch their businesses, we will help the same entrepreneurs develop their own distribution lists so that they can publicize their business and send potential clients promotions by SMS.
  2. SoukTel will build a closed network of entrepreneurs from our joint projects with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women as well as mentors. Through this mobile phone network, participants will have real-time and low-cost access to knowledge and advice by sending a question via SMS to the entire group, and receiving replies for free directly on their mobile handset.

Mrs. Blair and Mohammad Kilany of SoukTel spoke on a CGI panel about innovative mobile solutions last week (see above), where our innovative initiative was received with great enthusiasm by fellow panelists and audience members. In particular, the partnership’s ability and commitment to address women’s comprehensive needs as businesspeople, individuals and parents was recognized as having great potential for impact and sustainable social change. Stay tuned for our CGI progress reports through the year!

FWEN Winning Business Plans Announced!

On Tuesday, 3 August 2010, Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in Nablus (FWEN) program, under the patronage of Nablus Governor Jibril Al Bakri, celebrated the completion of the project’s first phase. During the ceremony, TYO announced the 10 winning business plans that will continue to the second phase of the FWEN project.

In his remarks to all the FWEN participants, Gov. Al Bakri expressed the importance of empowering women economically, and the government’s commitment to developing the community and allowing for the flow of creative ideas.

The second phase of the FWEN program begins next month, during which time coaches will work with the creators of the winning business plans to advance their proposals and determine the support (financial, in-kind and supervisory) required for their successful development and implementation as pilot businesses. Other participants will be free to pursue their own business plans, but may not receive any support from project partners beyond the basic training and coaching hours.

Congratulations to the winning entrepreneurs:

Hayfa, 24, and Ayat, 24, Recycling project
Aya, 22, Sheep farm
Hana, 25, Heba, 28, H2 Fashion project
Sahar, 27, Graphic Design project
Nehaya, 25, Restaurant
Rima, 23, and Afnan, 27, Coffee roaster project
Yasmeen, 24, Clothing store
Hadeel, 24, Intercultural cooperation project
May, 24, Chicken farm
Rose, 25, Hair Salon project

ABOUT FWEN: During the Fifth Annual Clinton Global Initiative (New York, September 2009), the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and Tomorrow’s Youth Organization (TYO) committed to contribute to women’s economic empowerment in Nablus. The project, Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in Nablus, is now underway at the TYO Center in Nablus and is planned to begin in Lebanon in the fall of 2010.