Mosaic Mania!

Check out the new post by Project Coordinator Doris on the Triple Exposure website:

Triple Exposure mural students have truly stunned us with the beauty and originality of the mosaic murals which are now complete! The first mural, titled “Representations of Palestine” by the students, features olive trees, flowers, and butterflies to celebrate the beauty of the landscape around Nablus. This mural overlooks the TYO parking lot and thus brightens the day…

Our third mural, located on a central street in Nablus

“Triple Exposure” is a TYO initiative that aims to develop identity, awareness, and vocational skills among children and adolescents through teaching photographic expression and the production of public art.

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Nabulsi Cinema: Now Playing on the Triple Exposure website

Check out the latest post by Project Coordinator Doris on the Triple Exposure website:

Explore the origins of what I’m sure will soon be a burgeoning film industry in Nablus: the short films made by Triple Exposure students! See the work written, acted, animated, filmed, and edited by Taha, Mahmoud, Hiba, Suzan, Hanadi, Mohammed, Mumin, Yaseen, Hala, Mujahed — the list goes ever on. Characters range from a Palestinian police officer to a young boy with big dreams to a young girl who unexpectedly finds herself on a magical journey!

The kids have developed their skills in set design, framing, and composition in the photography and mural classes, allowing us to now focus much more on films this fall. So stay tuned for new releases!

Volunteer Masa and photo/film student Shireen prepare for filming

“Triple Exposure” is a TYO initiative that aims to develop identity, awareness, and vocational skills among children and adolescents through teaching photographic expression and the production of public art.

Summertime for Triple Exposure!

Check out the new post by Project Coordinator Doris on the Triple Exposure website:

As the summer winds down, we are taking a break from class to observe Ramadan (and to set everything in motion for the fall!). June and July were busy months — whether hiding from the heat by making a trip to the local mall to take photos, staying in the shade while making a mosaic, or using their cameras to show me their homes and families, the kids of Triple Exposure spent their summer holidays producing beautiful work, which I am now proud to show you.

Take a few minutes, sip a cool drink, and enjoy photos of Triple Exposure students putting their designs on city walls, capturing their lives and their city with their cameras, and generally having a rocking good time.

“Triple Exposure” is a TYO initiative that aims to develop identity, awareness, and vocational skills among children and adolescents through teaching photographic expression and the production of public art.

Intern Journal: Learning to draw

While all of the other children started drawing and decorating self-portraits of themselves in the present and in the future, Mahmoud sat still staring absent-mindedly at the table filled with art supplies. His brother Ahmad tried to give him oil pastels and paper, but Mahmoud refused to take them. He exclaimed that he just wanted to sit and not draw anything, but something made me feel that there was some other reason Mahmoud did not want to draw.

Over the past few weeks, I had noticed that Mahmoud never picked up a marker or crayon voluntarily during free time drawing despite the wide variety of colors and choices. Even when he finally picked one up, he would often just hold it in his hand and not use it. This lack of interest in doodling or drawing baffled me considering the fact that he continued to come week after week to my Arts & Crafts class. He was a good student who always listened carefully during storytelling, helped clean up at the end of class and was generally in a good mood. Why did he not want to color and draw like the other children?

I sat down at the table next to Mahmoud and started drawing my own self-portrait in hopes that maybe that would encourage him to start drawing. When that failed, I called over my translator Waleed to see if he could ask him why he did not want to draw. Mahmoud responded, “I don’t know how to draw. I can’t do it.” I quickly said, “Anyone can draw! Here I will teach you. It’s all about experimenting and having fun.”

For the rest of the class period, Mahmoud happily drew portraits of himself in the present and portraits of himself in the future as a teacher. As I watched him, I started to think about his response to my earlier question. Before coming to TYO, Mahmoud probably did not have the chance to express himself creatively and as a result, he did not think that he could do so. With a little bit of encouragement and direction though, he was now a little artist in the making. As he came running up to me waving his artwork, I could not help but smile broadly at his newly discovered enthusiasm for drawing. “Mumtaz Mahmoud!”

– Hannah

Hannah is an intern at TYO Nablus this summer.

Synergy and its best: aspiring female entrepreneurs and their fearless leader

Since the beginning of my stint this summer as an intern for the Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in Nablus project, a day has yet to pass in which I don’t find myself in awe of the dedicated female participants in the program and of the woman who basically runs the show, Fatima Irshaid. Fatima’s family is originally from a village outside of Jenin but she was raised in Nablus and now lives in Ramallah.

Not only does Fatima provide a space in which local Nabulsi women with an entrepreneurial spirit can obtain business development training and access to her pre-existing network, but also a role model for the possibilities of personal and professional growth.

Fatima is their support system and their tough love. In turn, the female participants are her inspiration and, at times, her frustration. Demanding, yet compassionate, she understands where they are coming from and acts accordingly with fairness. As she told me, “Everyone has a story. What matters is how you move on with it.”  Fatima is dedicated to her participants and their futures as female entrepreneurs. They are in turn dedicated to her, the result truly being more than the sum of its parts.

The local staff’s dedication to TYO and to their respective missions within it is admirable and more than visible on a daily basis. Fatima is no exception to this rule and it has been an honor to work with her and the FWEN program.

– Maggie

Maggie is an intern at TYO Nablus.

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.

Photo of the Day: “I don’t like violence, do you?”

This dynamic poster has “I don’t like violence, do you?” written at its top followed by over 100 hands and names. It was created by our Summer 2010 Core Program participants in Health class. This summer, Health teacher Ahmad focused on conflict resolution skills in his classroom. The children spoke of conflicts they have faced at home or at school, how these the conflicts made them feel and how they resolved them. Following several weeks of discussion, each child traced and colored their hand on this poster and pledged not to use their hands in violent or aggressive ways. This poster is a testament to their commitment and strength. Bravo!

Last Day of Summer Celebration!

On Thursday, 5 August 2009 Tomorrow’s Youth Organization celebrated the last day of our summer session. Over 350 community members came to the TYO Center in Nablus to view their children’s artwork and enjoy a series of performances and exhibitions, including dance performances by TYO’s Core Child Program kids, a debkah and a circus performance by Katakit, group of clowns from Nablus!  TYO set up a special blue tent outside the Center so our families could enjoy the show in the shade. All day long, the tent was filled with the laughter and shouts of children and families enjoying their time together.