TYO Intern Alumni: Where are They Now?
It was a home existing both on top of or and near the base of a hill, and filled with a breathing community.
A Los Angeles, CA native, Shahla taught 'Mad Science' and English for mothers during her TYO internship in the summer 2009.
What was your favorite moment/story from your time with TYO?
My favorite moments all revolve around my students - whether they were 8-year-old boys or 52-year-old mothers - making fun of me. The students were always enthusiastic about the opportunity to learn, but never let me forget that perhaps listening to The Beatles as a way to learn English was not the best idea after all or that I always pronounced "Ala" incorrectly. It's all in the throat.
What do you miss most about TYO or Nablus?
I miss the people. The entire landscape with volunteers, students, mothers and fathers, cousins, teachers, internationals, and so on created a chaotic, fun family. Nothing was ever boring and there was always someone to talk with or a ball to kick around. It was a home existing both on top of or and near the base of a hill, and filled with a breathing community.
What have you been up to after leaving Nablus and what are your plans for the future?
I'm a senior at Yale University trying to figure out what I want to do next! My GRE books are still in Nablus for all future interns.
How do you think TYO affected you personally and professionally?
I went to Nablus as an eighteen-year-old for the sole reason that I wanted to teach science to young kids. I left with dozens of new friends that I will never forget and whose hearts and laughter keep bringing me back to the West Bank. My time with TYO was much too short and remains a constant reminder that the professional is personal. Our work needs to touch us and transform us in the most intimate way and, if it is not, then perhaps we should consider moving onto something else.