Intern Journal: TYO’s First Women’s Nutrition Class

This summer, fellow intern Megan and I are teaching Women’s Nutrition, a first here at TYO. Megan and I want to show Nabulsi women that healthy food can be easy and delicious. So far we’ve had an amazing turnout and the women have been enthusiastic about the hands-on experience. They love taking their own basic ingredients and supplies and watching them transform into a new dish they can make from start to finish. They’ve already asked if they can bring their daughters, sisters, nieces, cousins, and friends to class with them!

When we asked the women what they wanted from the class, they explained that they wanted to learn not only how to make new types of dishes, but also, how to integrate new flavors into traditional Palestinian foods. Some are interested in making Italian dishes, and others want to try very spicy foods, but above all, they want to teach us how to make some of their favorite dishes. What precious windfall for Megan and I, and a perfect example of the kind of cultural exchange that is so central to the TYO program! I hope they teach us how to make mloukhieh (a stew made with jute leaves) and tabbouleh! Continue reading


Intern Journal: Enjoy the view, be in the moment!

For a girl who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, I didn’t quite expect the intern “leisure” hike in the Wadi Qelt near Jericho to be any big feat. I especially didn’t expect having to end the hike with a donkey-ride due to my inability to control my legs. When our taxi first pulled up to the entrance of the Wadi Qelt, I was in awe of the scene before my eyes; sprawling canyons, rugged hilltops, and bedouins herding their goats. I was in a magical place; truly biblical. As our group descended into the desert, it felt as if we were the only people for miles.

That initial high soon gave way to complete and utter exhaustion. Whether it was dehydration, the heat, or those extra 20 lbs that I’ve packed on since my time in East Africa, the hike was anything but leisurely for a certain intern. As our group began to splinter off between those of us in shape and those of us who enjoy a little too much hummus and pita, it became increasingly clear that I might in fact pass out at any moment, roll down the massive cliffs, and endure a fate worse than James Franco in 127 hours. Continue reading

Triple Exposure Mural complete in El Ein boys’ school

Last week, Rimah and the volunteers, in conjunction with a group of eight students, completed a new mural in a classroom at the UNRWA boys’ school in El Ein refugee camp in Nablus. The eight boys, all around 14 years old, had a prior interest in art, and this shone through in their natural affinity for painting. They were full of ideas not only for the mural but also about their futures, and football – asking Rimah if she was a Real Madrid or Barcelona fan – two of the most popular teams here.

Many of them had been to TYO when they were younger, attending the photography and painting classes. Some still find the time to put pen to paper and draw or paint for fun. However El Ein School does not have an art teacher, so this was a great chance not only for the boys to be creative but also to brighten up the classroom for everyone.

We would like to thank El Ein School for such a well organised, well chosen group of boys. They were so talented and professional, and the already established friendships made for some brilliant teamwork!

New Photo of the Week on the Triple Exposure website!

Check out this week’s photo of the week by Triple Exposure photography student Doha, as described by TYO intern Mathilda:

Twelve year old Doha is from Khallet-al Amood, Nablus. Like many of the Triple Exposure kids, she loves to photograph her siblings. She took this photo of her one year old brother, Omar, on the terrace when he was crying out for their mother.

A sneak peak!

“Triple Exposure” is an initiative of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to promote art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.

Intern Journal: Climb Every Mountain, Ford Every Stream

The ability of fellow passengers to doze off during the hour service ride between Nablus and Ramallah still confounds me.  Granted, I’m no seasoned commuter, but with about a dozen rides to boast, I still find that I can barely tear my eyes away from the impressive rolling hills long enough to change the track on my iPod.   There is something truly spellbinding about the way those coveted hills glisten, illuminated by the late afternoon sun’s ebbing rays as they subside beyond the ridge.  Yes, when there are no shrieking babies involved, the ride is a serene one, lending itself to introspection and joyful reflection.

Whether the following adventure is to be attributed to these weekly drives or to the breathtaking, expansive view of the Nabulsi hills we daily enjoy from the TYO center is still unclear, but last week we interns were inspired to go “frolic through the hills.”  The weather on Saturday was splendid: a sunny spring day with clear blue skies, perfect for a spontaneous stroll through the wadi.  The valley’s bending stream was to be our sole guide.  It apparently leads all the way to the Wadi Badan village, which was our notional destination as we stepped out of the cab at the edge of the highway and began our descent down to the babbling brook…we never made it to Wadi Badan.

Less than ten minutes into our hike, as we neared the bottom of the ravine and paused to take in the pristine view, there was a rustle 100 meters ahead, and a wild boar bolted out of the brush, racing along our projected path (i.e. the water) to Wadi Badan.  More so to avoid having to constantly cross the stream than to avoid a second encounter with Pumba’s cousin (or so we told ourselves), we decided to continue toward Wadi Badan at higher ground.  About an hour and a number of clumsy hands-first falls into thistle bushes later, we realized that the ascent to reach the mountain’s summit was interminable, and we spent the latter half of the next two hours delicately retracing our steps back to the water. After our four hours of “frolicking”, we found ourselves back on the highway, about a one-minute drive down the road from where we had begun our excursion.

Did we have our Sound of Music moments?—We most definitely did.  Sure, they were interspersed with periods of screeches as we fled away from clusters of spiders and centipedes and with enough run-ins with hostile plants to keep me occupied with splinter removal for the next two days; but each time we stopped to catch our breath or to examine the latest scrape or bruise, there was the inevitable: “Just look at this view!”


Leila is an intern at TYO Nablus.


April 9: A Children’s Photography Exhibition at the National Children’s Museum in Maryland!

The West Bank is a place that never fails to attract media attention for its politics and conflict and history, but what gets much less attention is what the life of a Palestinian is really like. Even less known is what the life of a Palestinian child is like, since, being too young to write novels or poems or articles or songs, younger Palestinian children are usually forced to allow the older generations to speak for them. The story of how a young boy or girl grows up to become the person we then read about in the news is so rarely told, and rarely is it told without the interference of someone else’s interpretation.

The simplicity of a point-and-shoot digital camera allows us to begin to breach this gap in storytelling and expression. Since 2009, students at TYO have been taking home digital cameras to photograph and share their lives. TYO’s exhibition of the children’s photography, through an initiative of the Triple Exposure project, ran in the West Bank last year.

It is now moving to the States for the first time!  Come see their photography at an event on April 9 to be held at the National Children’s Museum in National Harbor, Maryland.

What: Nablus Celebration: food, activities, storytelling, photography, and more
Where: The NCM Launch Zone, 112 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD 20745 Launch Google Maps
When: Saturday, April 9, 2011 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Who: Open to the public and family friendly!
Cost: FREE!

We hope you can join us!

“Triple Exposure” is an initiative of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to promote art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.

New Photo Story on the Triple Exposure website!

Check out this week’s photo story by Triple Exposure photography student Mohammed, as described by TYO intern Mathilda:

Mohammad has a brilliant sense of humour and brings a lot of laughter to class. This shines through in his photos too. Rather than just photographing what he sees around him, he created his own subject out of a piece of cactus, and went on to arrange it in different locations so that he could experiment with perspective and light to produce these distinct and memorable images.

A sneak peak!

“Triple Exposure” is an initiative of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization to promote art education for youth, community access to public art, and a better worldwide understanding of Palestine.