As we close in on our second week here at TYO, I'm pleased to say that I have learned more about my county, my city, and my people now than I have in the past 20 + summer visits. As small as this city is, it's historical significance is immeasurable. When you walk through its busy streets you are greeted by spice merchants, shoe makers, and the smell of freshly baked knafe. The people of this country hold true to their heritage. Their warm welcome has opened my eyes to not only a community-but a grand family.
The excitement of being able to experience this beautiful country and its people as a Zahi Khouri Fellow is truly a privilege. The Zahi Khouri Fellowship program allows Palestinian American students and graduates, such as myself, the experience of professional development in the fields of education, youth/female empowerment, and economic development in Palestine by using a psychosocial and multigenerational approach. Projects I am assigned to include, but are not limited to, lesson plan development, speaker assessment in The Women's Group, teaching English classes, and the monitoring and evaluation process. TYO has allowed me to evaluate 'what' and 'how' speakers that are brought in discuss and if these discussions are beneficial. Also, monitoring the Core Child Program and assessing child participation has been a great way for me to understand these children on a different level.
The reason I applied for this fellowship program is because I was looking for an opportunity to work with an organization that is dedicated to making a difference and contributing in making the world a better place. Working with TYO has introduced me to motivated individuals who share such values.
After meeting the energetic and enthusiastic women and children who have joined our programs here at TYO - through the Core Child Program and The Women's Group, I am thrilled to be working with them during my stay in Nablus and I'm excited about what's to come!
Reema is a Zahi Khouri Fellow in Nablus.