Riding Off into the Sunset

Dana and kids The past twelve weeks my surrounding fellows and I have embarked on a journey that we will forever hold in our hearts. Before I started my work at TYO I was worried about many things and questioned myself. The biggest question I asked myself was, ‘Would I actually be able to make an impact on the surrounding community’? Throughout my time here I have answered that question.

Within my life I have come to Palestine just about every year for vacation, but have never stayed longer than three weeks. I currently have dual citizenship in Palestine and the United States, which is an advantage. I didn’t really understand means to be Palestinian and to live life as a Palestinian citizen before living in Nablus. This experience has opened my eyes; showing me that my people are resilient, brilliant and stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Being here for a span of three months has given me a truer outlook on my culture and heritage. It has also built up my self-esteem, pride in self, and my community.

Dana and fellows

My first month here was quiet compared to the last two months at TYO. As the children, college students, and women I taught created a bond, there was more to talk about and that lead to more friendships. I will carry these memories and friends I have created long pasted my departure from Palestine.

Now that everything is coming to a close here in Nablus, I have reflected on how many people I have impacted. So the question I asked myself in the beginning was answered. I have left an imprint on the surrounding community and they have also impacted me. My experience here at TYO is one that I have learned from and will take with me for the rest of my life.


Dana, Zahi Khouri Fellow, Spring 2016