We Are All Alike, We Are All Different
Seven North American interns have recently taken the TYO Center by storm. Our passion: to bring uninhibited joy and confidence to the precious children of Nablus. Our struggle: to do so with the broken bits of Arabic vocabulary we possess. The beauty of it all: 1) the smiling faces of the little boys and girls who come sprinting through the TYO entrance with such eagerness; 2) the international and local staff, translators and volunteers who support our sentiments - extending a hand to help in any way they can, whenever they can; 3) the thought of what a transformative experience this will all be. Despite our varied backgrounds and dynamic personalities, we are linked by a strong enthusiasm for the work we are doing here. Yes, we are all different, but essentially, we are all alike. One of the primary goals for my English class is to challenge my students to realize this dichotomous concept - of owning one’s individuality while embracing what unites us. As “tweens”, children tend to get bored easily and act on impulse, create negative distractions; they are full of new hormones, emerging rebellion, and often times suffer insecurities. So while it is important to help the children build confidence in who they are as individuals, I must also give them new formulas and techniques for understanding others. This is not to say that in two months times I will be able to break them out of age-old habits, habits like continuously questioning self-worth, forming cliques or teasing. However, I will certainly try my best to foster social interactions that will challenge them to break down barriers - and in turn build bridges - where (insh’allah) many of them will find that they can meet half way. I am seeing great progress already.
Samin is a summer intern at TYO Nablus.