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Monthly Archives: July 2011

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Making Friends

As a way to end the summer session, Samin and I combined our classes together to discuss the friendships we’ve made at TYO. We began by playing a video story of the popular and beloved book, The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. As the video played, we stopped periodically for translation from our translators Yazid and Refiq. Samin and I were amazed at how much the children enjoyed the story! Afterward, we led a discussion about the story and its meaning. One student said, “the boy kept using the tree until it was naked”. Another said that a friendship shouldn’t be Continue reading…

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The Hour of Separation

It seems only yesterday I arrived to Nablus, yet the last three months have given me a lifetimes worth of fulfillment. Today being the final day of our summer session classes was very sentimental, as I said my goodbyes to students, aerobics moms, volunteers and translators.  An infinite amount of hugs from my students and moms would still not have been enough, and the countless number of gifts I received will be keepsakes that I will hold on to forever. There is not much left to say besides that the people of Nablus have been incredibly welcoming, and their kindness Continue reading…

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I Hope That You Will Come Back!

That phrase is what I heard most from people today. This was my last week of teaching at TYO and it was a happy, sad, emotional, amazing week with my kids and women. I will never forget them and our time together. It’s fair to say that they taught me more than I taught them. I’m finding it difficult to express in words what they’ve done for me, so check out the photos that tell our story below. [slideshow] – Megan is a summer program intern at TYO Related posts:Recycling is Child’s PlayStay in Touch – EmmaFrom the "English Only Continue reading…

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What’s Right About Being Wrong

It was a good week for my Creative Thinking class. Once an idealistic brainchild led by two terrified first-time TYO teachers, the pilot class is really starting to come into its own. Heading into the class eight weeks ago, one of my major goals was to convince our kids that sometimes, it’s totally fine to be wrong. Getting the right answer isn’t always the point; it’s the process of reasoning  that refines our logic and molds us into lean, mean critical thinking machines. Being wrong about things is what makes us human – it’s the proverbial hand on the stove Continue reading…

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The Man Behind the Wheel

“Marhabaaaaa! Keifik?” Every time we climb into Munir’s spotlessly clean taxi we are welcomed by this cheery greeting as he, always the gentleman, holds the door open for us. “My favorite part of driving is talking to the interns,” he said. “Americans are always happy, and they always like to talk.” This may not be news to anyone who has experienced Americans abroad, but neither is Munir’s genuine interest in our lives surprising to me, as this open friendliness has become indicative of most of my interactions with Palestinians. Munir has been driving interns all over Nablus (and the West Continue reading…

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An Evening with Lina and Friends

Walking up what felt like 100 flights of stairs, Samin and I finally reached Lina’s house in our neighborhood of Khallet al-Amood. Lina is a mother who is in both my nutrition class and Samin’s aerobics class, and after weeks of asking us to come to her house, we finally had the time to visit with her in her home. I can speak for both myself and Samin when I say it was one of our favorite experiences in Nablus thus far. Lina outdid herself with delicious tabbouleh salad, cakes, and fruits piled higher than I have ever seen! Slowly, Continue reading…

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Between Two Ferns with Mutasim Qawariq

Mutasim can usually be found leading the soccer leagues on the TYO soccer field, mingling amongst interns, volunteers and staff like the Mr. Popularity that he is, or in my classroom doing his best to engage the children in English lessons. Amidst his busy schedule, I finally found a moment to sit down with Mutasim for an interview regarding his indispensable work with TYO: Me: Can you tell me a little about yourself –age, education, work, hobbies/passion, etc? Mutasim: My name is Mutasim. I am 23 years old, and studying English Literature at An Najah University. I like football, and Continue reading…

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‘Shooting back from Palestine’ exhibition in TYO Nablus

Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, Nablus is proud to host ‘Shooting back from Palestine’, an exhibition of youth photography. In association with the Paltel Group Foundation and the Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation (PYALARA), the opening ceremony will be held this Sunday (24th July 2011), 12pm, at the TYO Center (Zafer al-Masri Foundation Building),  Khallet Al-Amood, Nablus. Tomorrow’s Youth Organization has its own youth arts and photography program, Triple Exposure  and is delighted to host such a like minded project and inspire our own young photographers and artists. Please join us this Sunday to view this amazing collection of photos from all Continue reading…

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Let’s Ask Ahmed!

My translator Ahmed has been an invaluable resource in my Arts and Crafts classes and sports days at TYO. He has also become a good friend and someone I truly respect. I couldn’t have asked for a better teammate at TYO! Below is an interview I did with Ahmed so that I could share more about him with the world beyond Nablus! Me: Ahmad can you tell me about your studies at An Najah University? Ahmed: Right now I am studying English literature. I love English and am interested in learning more. Right now I’m studying Shakespeare. We also study Continue reading…

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The End of an Era

Today, our beloved Intern Coordinator, Chelsey, is sadly leaving us for the world beyond Nablus. Chelsey, who has nurtured us from intern infancy over the last eight weeks, who has introduced us to the wonderful people of Nablus, who has gracefully handled our hundreds of daily questions, has helped guide seven different rounds of interns through their first experiences of life in the West Bank, all with a huge smile on her face. For the interns, we will take away wonderful memories of Old City walks, long talks on the balcony, and bonding over our love for iced coffee, to Continue reading…