TYO Gala: President Clinton praises TYO as a promising solution

Last week, Tomorrow’s Youth Organization came out in Washington, DC with a series of events including our first ever Gala on October 21, 2010. We celebrated our successes from the last three years in Nablus and announced exciting expansion plans as we honored our valued supporters including President Bill Clinton, former UK First Lady Cherie Blair and music legend Quincy Jones. We are grateful that event co-chairs, Ambassador Yousef al Otaiba, Samia Farouki and Terry McAuliffe also played a huge role in the week’s proceedings. The TYO Gala reflected our distinctive mix of engagement, passion, innovation and high-quality including a performance by the Dupont Park Children’s Choir of Washington, DC who sang the song that Quincy Jones has donated to TYO, Tomorrow, after a moving introduction from Mr. Jones himself. The event highlighted the urgent need for innovative programming for children and women in the West Bank and the broader Middle East. Another inspiring theme of the week and the Gala presentation was the extraordinary potential of Middle Eastern women as a lever for social change.

The success of our Gala was due in part to the presence of our distinguished honorees: President Bill Clinton, Cherie Blair and Quincy Jones. Their remarks stirred the 400+ guests, who were also inspired by the promise they saw in our participants through stunning large-scale audiovisual presentations throughout the evening (like this short video), as well as past and present TYO team members in attendance at the Gala.

Former President Clinton praised TYO’s work as a promising solution for the formidable challenges we face in the Middle East. He said that TYO “empower[s] women… increases[s] educational opportunities and frankly involve[s] more social empowerment without which you can’t have a balanced society.”

TYO was also thrilled to honor Cherie Blair, founder of TYO ally Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (CBFW) with whom we have enjoyed enormous success through our collaboration Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in Nablus. Mrs. Blair acknowledged the power of our cooperation: “Together we’re enabling women to develop and build on their business talents, and thus, to help themselves, their families, and wider society…” And, she urged the audience to support our efforts, “every dollar you spend on [our work] is returned a thousand fold…Come to the Middle East and see the potential is there.”

Gala emcee and co-chair, Terry McAuliffe, echoed President Clinton and Mrs. Blair’s remarks: “If we truly want peace in the Middle East, it is about helping people have a better future. We have got to give these children an education. We have got to help women better themselves.”

We shared, we listened, we celebrated; but most of all, we raised awareness about the open hearts and tremendous possibility of children and women in the Middle East. It was incredible! A huge thanks to those of you who attended, had some role in the Gala, or are part of the TYO community in another way. And ahlan wa sahlan – come get involved – to those of you who aren’t yet.

TYO humbly thanks its generous sponsors that supported this event, including the PalTel Group Foundation, Mohamed S. Farsi Foundation, Abercrombie & Kent, FedEx, Dewey and LeBoeuf, William Haughey, Raj Fernando, Christophe Jungels-Winkler, A. Huda and Samia Farouki, Terry and Dorothy McAuliffe and Capital Corporation.