Posts tagged International Internship and Fellowship Program
The Art of Making Mistakes

"There is no such thing as a mistake in art.” Even now, years later, I can still remember my elementary school art teacher encouraging me to embrace mistakes. She showed me how a misplaced line or extra paint splotch could become a new design. There is always a way to transform an accident into an opportunity. As a child pre-occupied with perfection, art gave me space to develop at my own pace. I enjoyed learning without worrying about making mistakes.

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Fostering a Brave Space

At the door of TYO, students can either leave their external feelings or share their sentiments and be welcomed into the community. As an educational and psycho-social organization, the staff at TYO inherently cares for the holistic care of every student.

In order to ensure the comprehensive care of every student, the staff and volunteers uphold that TYO is neither a religious nor a political space, but rather the space for empowerment and self-fulfillment. At times, however, this is easier said than done.

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It’s Kanafah not Knefeh, bas tfaDal [But Help Yourself]

When my students ask, “What Palestinian foods have you eaten?” they always laugh at my response.  “No,” they tell me emphatically, “It’s kanafah, not knefeh.”  I pronounce the famous Nabulsi dessert in the Lebanese way, not the Palestinian.  And though there are obvious, clear differences between the cultures of the two countries, and even the culture of Palestinians living in Lebanon and Palestine, I cannot ignore the similarities of teaching in both.

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Being Uniquely Me and the Curiosity of New Friends

I arrived in Nablus having lived in an Arabic-speaking country and having lived in a more conservative environment before. Whenever I am placed in the aforementioned environments, there is a tendency to want to conform. However, the most the liberating of options is to just be me and welcome all questions about my differences and individuality as a opportunity for an unique kind of cultural exchange.

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From China to Palestine: An Unexpected Journey

Life called me to TYO as I finished up my experience working with Peace Corps in China. I was drawn to the fellowship position as it combined both of my passions: education and experiencing the cultures of the world. As the taxi brought me into Nablus for my first time the wind was blowing into the car and the call to prayer began as it was 5:00 in the morning. All I can remember is an overwhelming feeling that once again life had brought me to the exact place I needed to be.

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