Welcome Summer 2011 Interns!

I am happy to introduce our Summer 2011 Interns! These recent graduates and young professionals bring an array of experiences to our team, and they will help TYO reach thousands of community members this summer.

Amy – Amy is graduating absentee in June from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Humanities. Her focus is creative writing and she hopes to teach community college upon her return to the United States. Prior to her postgraduate study, Amy worked as a Program Coordinator, organizing and leading talks and activities in Los Angeles schools, for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Amy will teach a creative thinking class as part of TYO’s Summer Camp, fitness for women, a soccer clinic for young kids and an evening English class for community members.

Tala – Tala has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in International Relations. She spent this spring as an intern at TYO headquarters in McLean, VA. Tala is no stranger to the Middle East and has traveled extensively throughout the region. She will teach an arts and crafts class as part of TYO’s Summer Camp, a nutrition class for women, a soccer clinic for young kids and an evening English class for community members.

Alex – Alex is finishing a master’s degree from King’s College (UK) in Middle East Studies and holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in Eastern Mediterranean Studies. Alex spent fall semester of her junior year at The American University in Cairo, during which time she taught English to the refugee population there. Alex will teach a creative thinking class as part of TYO’s Summer Camp, fitness for women, a soccer clinic for young kids and an evening English class for community members.

Cate – Cate has a bachelor’s degree from Duke University in Public Policy and Global Health. During her undergraduate years, Cate spent time working abroad mostly with communities in east and southern Africa.  This spring, Cate worked at a refugee resettlement and social services center in Boston. She is very excited to be in the Middle East for the first time. Cate will teach an arts and crafts class as part of TYO’s Summer Camp, a fitness class for women and English classes for TYO staff members.

Mark – Mark has a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in International Affairs and Journalism. Last summer and fall, he studied Arabic in Lebanon and Syria respectively. In Syria, Mark taught English to Palestinian refugees. He is extremely excited to be back in the West Bank. Mark will teach basic photography as part of TYO’s Summer Camp, coach a soccer clinic for young kids and teenage boys, teach English classes for TYO staff members and assist with organizational social media efforts.

Megan – Megan holds a postgraduate certificate in International Project Management and a bachelor’s degree from The University of Guelph (Canada) in Sociology. In Canada, she worked as a Project Leader for Katimavik, a youth volunteer program. From August 2010 to April 2011, Megan worked at a progressive school in Bangkok, Thailand for kids ages five to eighteen. Megan will teach an arts and crafts class as part of TYO’s Summer Camp, a nutrition class for women and an evening English class for community members.

Samin – Samin has a master’s degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (UK) in Middle Eastern Politics and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in Middle Eastern History. This spring, Samin interned at The Public Leadership Education Network and taught part-time at a local middle school. Samin will teach an English class as part of TYO’s Summer Camp, fitness for women, a soccer clinic for young kids and an evening English class for community members.

It is my pleasure to welcome this group to Nablus, and I look forward to all that they will contribute to our team!

- Chelsey

Chelsey is the International Internship Coordinator.

Intern Journal: Week in Review

The weekend weather was intense. We baked during our six hour desert hike through the arid canyons and ridges of Wadi Qelt. We snaked along the elevation of an old aqueduct to our final destination: the 5th century Greek Orthodox monastery of St. George.

Following our incredible Saturday hike, last Sunday felt like the busiest one yet: our usual morning meetings, a trip to Balata refugee camp, our first Arabic lesson and teaching community English.

Balata is the largest refugee camp in the West Bank, and one of the most densely populated areas on earth. The narrow labyrinth of alleyways between the concrete block houses, some barely the width of one person, brought to life the living conditions experienced by the camp’s thirty thousand plus residents. At TYO, we aim to provide a safe space for childhood play and informal education – a separate place where kids from the camps and other neighbourhoods can mix and simply be kids.

 

On Monday in my photography class, I printed out 22 different portraits and had the kids discuss them in groups. Next, in front of a semi-circle of their classmates, they had to present their chosen photo and talk about what made the photo interesting.  Even the shy managed to summon forth comments on colour or perspective after a few coaxing questions. In reward for their efforts, out came the DSLRs they’d been promised the week before.

The last ten minutes of the class was a maelstrom of flashes and camera swaps. Out of the chaos and running around emerged the students’ portraits of each other, the variety of backgrounds and poses that were laudable in the context of a single classroom. As the minutes counted down until the end of class, the local boys’ poses got bigger and bolder and more collaborative. It’s clear to see they enjoy being in front of the camera just as much as being behind it.

See our photo of the week at the Triple Exposure blog!

- Mathilda

Mathilda is an intern at TYO Nablus.

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