Departing Palestine: It’s Only Goodbye for Now

Jade leads an English class with children in Core AM. Two weeks after taking my last final for university, I boarded a plane bound to Tel Aviv to begin my session as an International Intern with Tomorrow’s Youth Organization in Nablus, Palestine. I didn’t know what to expect and couldn’t anticipate the incredible impact that my relatively brief time here would have on me.

Throughout my time as an intern at TYO, I have heard the stories of people in this community, have seen the ingenuity of children at play, and listened as university students expressed their passions and the ways in which they hope to make a difference in their communities. I have made strong connections with children, volunteers, and staff that have defined my experience in Palestine and broadened my understanding of the true meaning of international exchange and collaboration.

The past nine weeks with TYO has been one of the most positive experiences of my life. The opportunity to work with the extraordinary community of Nablus has been a privilege, and seeing the progress young students have made over the course of six weeks in English and psychosocial classes is an encouraging indicator of the potential these youth have to make an impact as future leaders in Palestine. My heart is heavy with the thought of departing this place that has been a second home for two months, but I leave with great hope and belief in the Palestinian people and the power that youth have to make change in their communities.

I know that this goodbye is only temporary, and that I will return to this place that has welcomed me so wholly during TYO’s Fall Session. I look forward to sharing my experience in the United States, and for when my life will once again bring me back to Palestine and my new friends and family within it. Until then, shoukran and m3salamma!

-Jade is a Fall 2014 International Intern at TYO