TYO in the Big Apple

TYO’s efforts and resources are concentrated very largely on our grassroots, on-ground programming. However, we also recognize the importance of participating in select international activities in order to share our experience, learn about others’ and garner support and knowledge to increase our impact.

Earlier this month, TYO Founder Hani Masri took part in the planning retreat for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) 2011 Annual Meeting. He was glad to see the continued emphasis on quality programming to support Girls and Women. That said, Mr. Masri challenged participants and CGI organizers to advance this important discussion further at the fall event by engaging more varied speakers such as accomplished youth activists, leaders of innovative if small organizations, and a more geographically diverse representatives. TYO looks forward to seeing continued evolution in the CGI agenda and approach in 2011.

On February 28, the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) organized a special event in cooperation with the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy in honor of the international day for Corporate Philanthropy. TYO Director Nell Derick Debevoise took part in the afternoon’s discussions including a broad range of corporate, NGO and UN representatives. The event was a pleasant surprise, with several speakers who made quite concrete, pro-active and unique contributions, such as Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia’s Earth Institute and Carlos Dominguez of Cisco.

The topic was the role of corporate philanthropy in education, specifically toward the Millennium Development Goal of achieving primary education for all and improved professional training by 2015. Participants discussed a variety of contemporary challenges, such as demographic issues creating mushrooming need for capacity, the importance of teaching soft skills like creativity and interpersonal intelligence and the massive obstacles to education presented by natural disaster and conflict. Happily, several inspiring solutions and innovations were also mentioned, such as Cisco’s IT training programs, Nokia’s three-pronged approach including research, capacity building and innovation and Education for Employment Foundation’s teaching-to-the-job model. TYO was honored to contribute its efforts in both early childhood education and practical experience to facilitate the school-to-work transition. A major priority for TYO in 2011 is to engage more with corporate sponsors to scale up these ongoing programs, so it was inspiring to hear from these active corporate citizens.

Read live coverage from the event on TYO’s Twitter feed and others by searching the hashtag #MDG2.


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

TYO Founder and President Hani Masri interviewed on MBC Arabic’s “Sabah il Kher”

On Tuesday, December 7, 2010 Nadia Bilbassy interviewed TYO Founder and President Hani Masri for MBC Arabic’s  “Sabah il Kher”  (Arabic: Good Morning) program. During the interview, Mr. Masri spoke about the importance of investing in children, youth and women in Nablus, Palestine, where he was born and many of his family members live today.

The kids come to our Center to take classes in IT, sports, music and many other subjects that are not available at their schools, Mr. Masri told MBC Arabic on Monday at TYO’s Virginia office.

Mr. Masri also commented on the importance of programming for young women and mothers. He added that the TYO Center is open to the participants’ mothers who are eager to engage in English, computer science and aerobics classes. Moreover, TYO developed a program to train young female university students interested in starting their own businesses.

Following the interview, Ms. Bilbassy commented on TYO’s innovative approach and commended Mr. Masri for investing in developing societies in the Arab world.

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…

TYO out on the town!

The first evening of TYO’s event week was a smashing success. With event chairs Terry McAuliffe and Samia Farouki, TYO founder and his wife, Hani and Cheryl Masri, Congressman Jim Moran, The Economist editor Peter David, Steve Clemons of Washington Note and New America Foundation and countless other personalities, it was a night to remember at Cafe Milano!

At left, TYO Event Chair and former National Democratic Chairman, Terry McAuliffe with TYO Founder and President, Hani Masri, stand in front of Cafe Milano with the jumbo banner that co-host Franco Nuschese surprised us with. THANK YOU, Franco! Cafe Milano put on a typically high class and fun event for over 200 TYO supporters.

Representative Jim Moran joined the crowd, following remarks from Terry McAuliffe, TYO director Nell Derick Debevoise, former TYO intern Christina Sass, and founder Hani Masri, with his input about the huge potential for TYO’s work to make a real difference in Middle Eastern society as well as relations between the US and that part of the world.

Finally, the inspiring video, “What If?” was shown – if you missed it, check it out on YouTube now! And see more pics from the evening on our Flickr site.

Business of Peace in the Middle East

TYO Founder and President, Hani Masri, headlined a conference at Harvard Business School (HBS) last Friday, April 9, along with Sir Ronald Cohen, Chairman of the Portland Trust. The conference was the second annual event on this topic, organized by HBS students and sponsored by Harvard MENA and the HBS Jewish Students Association.

HBS organizers were interested to brainstorm and publicize ways that the private sector can promote stability and peace in Israel and Palestine. Over 100 audience members represented the Harvard community (HBS and the university’s other graduate schools, including the Kennedy School of Government and the Graduate School of Education) as well as Portland Trust and TYO partners, including Ron Bruder, founder and CEO of the Education for Employment Foundation.

The discussion was varied and productive, ranging from the political climate in the region to a proposed web platform to facilitate trade between Israel and the West Bank. Participants focused primarily on innovative and effective measures to work toward a better life for those living in this troubled region, including education, trade and paying particular attention to women’s role in economic development. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently wrote:

When women are free to develop their talents and contribute fully to their societies, everyone benefits.

Inasmuch, we showcased TYO’s efforts to engage women as business leaders and build their capacity to do so.

We look forward to welcoming participants in the conference and others as mentors, donors and partners in our efforts to empower Palestinians in business – particularly the women we work with through our collaboration with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women: Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in Nablus. Meet FWEN participants Hadeel and Nehaya in their videos at these links.

Want to help? Get in touch with Project Manager Fatima Irshaid. Or donate now through Global Giving.

Hani Masri at Clinton Global Initiative planning retreat

TYO founder, Hani Masri, attended a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) strategic planning retreat with other global leaders (including Jennifer Buffett of the Novo Foundation, above) to prepare for the annual CGI meeting in September. Participants analyze pressing global challenges, discuss effective solutions, and build partnerships that enable them to create positive social change.