Earth Day Everyday

Art is a universal method of communication that does not depend upon language or structure to share a message. At TYO, the importance of art as a form of expression and source of joy can  be viewed throughout the building through paintings, photographs, and creative projects. Participants across TYO's programs have the opportunity to create and build their message through various art projects with special emphasis placed on using recycled materials.

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A Home Away From Home, But With More Hummus

So, where to start? Nablus, here I am. It’s almost as if I have been dropped here from the sky like the human icon from Google Maps is, straight from Western Europe but naturally without the dragging aspect. At first glance, Nablus is almost like a scene from a movie, a Hollywood blockbuster where white ajnabi (foreigners) visit a distant land in the East, shrouded in mystery which is heightened by a rich culture and unique attire.

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Humans of Nablus 38

“The children aren’t looking for someone to improve their lives through donations or monetary contributions but by feeling heard and understood by others.”

“In general, I don’t need money but I work here because I want to help others and help build my community in order to grow a brighter future for its inhabitants.”

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Our Deepest Condolences

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Ken Freeling. A dear member of the TYO family, Ken served as a committed member of Tomorrow's Youth Organization's board of directors for years. As a member of our board, his mentorship and support helped TYO bring education as well as social and economic empowerment to hundreds of families and thousands of children in need.

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Traveling Through Palestine

As I finish my time at TYO, I am reminded of the fun times I had with my thoughtful students and the locals I encountered throughout my travels. During my time in Palestine, I had the opportunity to travel throughout the country and meet people from all Palestine. Not only was my time here impacted by the local staff and students, but also by people I met throughout my travels.

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Farewell to Gerizim and Ebal

In his novel, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” Milan Kundera writes, “The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful.” As I say farewell to Nablus and to Palestine, I think of the many people I met who charmed and touched me. They are too many to be named. Thus, when I say farewell to Nablus and to Palestine, I think of Gerizim and Ebal, for they represent each of those people and each of those moments.

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From the Warmth of Palestine Back to the New England Cold

As I get ready to return to bitter, frozen New England (in both senses of both words), I, like all of the fellows, am reflecting on my time here in Nablus.  Waking up to the sight of Dunkin’ Donuts and snow up to my waist will be an unfortunate change from the view of the Nabulsi mountains from my very window.  While I will obviously miss the beautiful vistas of Palestine, and the amazing knafah, it is my students that I will miss the most.

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I Respect Myself: A Safe Space for Self-Empowerment

respect -(ri-spekt)- the esteem for a sense of the worth or excellence of a person

Almost 15 years ago, I worked at  a youth theater arts summer camp. I joined the staff as an assistant teacher just for the summer not knowing about the existing programs and routines. One of the things that I noticed was that they had this unique ritual everyday of saying a password. The password could be anything of the students and staff’s combined choosing. However, there was one strict requirement.

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Humans of Nablus 37

My favorite thing to do in Nablus is to study English. I plan to travel abroad one day to build bridges with the international community through the English language. With the relationships I build abroad I hope to bring financial resources to my community as well as emotional support.  From this kind of support I want to improve housing for people living in poverty.

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How Far We Have Come!

Eight weeks of STEP! II EFL program passed us by so quickly! The first day of classes began with students quietly introducing themselves and trying their best to figure out what the teacher was saying in English so quickly. As the weeks passed, everyone became increasingly comfortable and with that the students began to develop in their confidence. Throughout the first five weeks of class, we played volleyball as a group daily during class breaks and through this a level of comfort developed within the group and this translated well in the classroom.

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Humans of Nablus 36

I really enjoy studying languages. I recently started learning how to play the guitar with one of TYO’s teachers. I was amazed by how learning music feels like learning another language. You need only learn certain sounds, symbols and patterns and how to put them together. Now I’m starting to play songs in English, and I’m excited to become even better in the language.

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Volunteer to Grow: The Success Story of Haya Feno

Haya Feno was born and raised in Nablus and is a student at Al-Quds Open University studying business administration. Haya started volunteering in 2015 with the Core AM program. She originally began volunteering because she was required to complete 50 service hours during a class at Al-Quds Open University. Haya loved volunteering and completed 104 hours in her first volunteer session with Core AM. This is her third session at TYO having volunteered two sessions with Core AM and one as a local intern with Core PM.

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Fostering a Brave Space

At the door of TYO, students can either leave their external feelings or share their sentiments and be welcomed into the community. As an educational and psycho-social organization, the staff at TYO inherently cares for the holistic care of every student.

In order to ensure the comprehensive care of every student, the staff and volunteers uphold that TYO is neither a religious nor a political space, but rather the space for empowerment and self-fulfillment. At times, however, this is easier said than done.

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New Experiences, New Skills, and New Opportunities

Participation in extracurricular activities for children and youth can be hard to come by in underserved communities. TYO’s center provides local youth with an open space to learn, play, and take part in activities that they otherwise would not have access to. The academic program offers students educational support in Arabic, English and Math. There is a free day each week where students have the option to attend different recreational centers, such as swimming pools, bowling lanes, and martial arts schools.

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Fairuz in the Morning, Frank Sinatra in the Evening

Music is a powerful and positive force that connects people of different ages, backgrounds, and cultures. Recent Nobel Prize laureate Bob Dylan, Adele, Ravi Shankar, Edith Piaf, Tom Jobim, and Sakamoto, among so many others, have enchanted audiences around the world regardless of their ethnicity, race, and native language. “Music is the universal language of mankind,” once said American poet Henry Longfellow.

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