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Monthly Archives: June 2011

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Mr. Zahi Khoury Tours TYO Center

On Thursday, June 23, 2011, Zahi Khoury and his wife, Amal visited the TYO Center. Mr. Khoury, Founder and CEO of the National Beverage Company and Chairman of Partners for a New Beginning Palestine, toured the Center and visited our weekly Thursday Sports Day. Over a working lunch catered by Nehaya, a Fostering Women’s Entrepreneurs (FWEN) participant, Mr. Khoury discussed TYO’s programming and activities with several program managers. Several FWEN program participants presented their business plans and first steps to Mr. Khoury and received personalized feedback. TYO is a proud member of Partners for a New Beginning. We were ecstatic Continue reading…

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SOW Team Journal: Ahlan wa Sahlan, Ahlan Beek

[slideshow] We have been welcomed at TYO for three weeks now and are starting to feel the warm fuzzy feeling of home that so many of our interviewees have described.  It’s not the delicious food, or the cozy surroundings, but the many people we have met that have opened their hearts to our presence, welcoming us without question. I can speak for all of us when I say that we are truly amazed by the extreme generosity, patience, and kindness of everyone here.  Whether it was the grocer who carefully helped us bag and carry our items, making sure to Continue reading…

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New Triple Exposure workshop – Notes from Nablus – Balata

Portraits of kids, by kids: presenting the faces and voices of Nabulsi youth to the world. The best way to let the children of Nablus try out digital photography is to take the cameras to them. So June saw the start of our new Triple Exposure workshop – Notes from Nablus. Our first location was Balata UNRWA refugee camp. After some Q&A on portraits and basic tips on composition we went over how to use the DSLR cameras – as it was the first time for the nine to eleven year olds, we kept it simple by talking about how Continue reading…

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Triple Exposure mural complete in Balata Girls’ School

This month, TYO mural teacher Rimah visited Balata girls’ school in the UNRWA refugee camp, Nablus. Over multiple visits she worked with two groups of girls, ages ten to twelve, to complete two murals either side of the sinks in the school. The ice breakers and games on the first day really helped pull the groups together and let Rimah know what the girls are interested in. The final game centred on each person saying their name plus the meaning and their favourite subject at school, this brought forth a deluge of information about their interests, families, and dreams. The Continue reading…

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Stanford research reveals Creativity Gap among Palestinian children

Stanford Graduate School of Education doctoral student, Elizabeth Buckner, is working with Stanford Professor Paul Kim on research about creativity among Palestinian school children and ways that mobile technology could be used to cultivate it. She visited the West Bank in Spring 2010 to do research with children at TYO and several other NGOs and schools. This research has led to the fascinating article, Combating the Creativity Gap [NB: this paper is a work in progress and should not be cited without the authors’ permission]. The article presents fascinating evidence that some Palestinian students are getting access to the type of learning-through-play Continue reading…

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The Best Medicine

It’s no secret – we work hard here at TYO. We spend our days oscillating between grownups and kids. We play freeze tag with 8-year-olds and then head inside to submit our weekly attendance spreadsheets and progress reports. We plan for hours, sometimes days, for an in-class activity and emerge from the office with pink crepe paper accidentally glued to our eyebrows. It’s a curious life in which we have to think like children and plan like adults. It can be overwhelming, which is where the kids serendipitously come in. In the wise words of Buddy the Elf – I Continue reading…

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Honoring World Refugee Day at Balata Camp

Today we mark World Refugee Day. For TYO staff, volunteers, and interns it was especially poignant as we spent the afternoon at Balata Refugee Camp – the largest camp in the West Bank. With over 30,000 residents on 1 kilometer of land, Balata is a microcosm of the plight of Palestinian refugees across the region.  With limited access to water, sewage, health, and educational services, camps are a haven for disease, poverty, and unemployment. Children are the most vulnerable victims. Without access to quality early childhood education and the space and freedom to play as every child should have,  psychosocial Continue reading…

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Welcome SOW National Team!

TYO is delighted to welcome back to its Nablus Center members of Students of the World. This June, the SOW National Team will be in Nablus documenting TYO’s programs and activities. Welcome back, friends! Andrea Patiño – Photographer. A native from Bogota, Colombia, Andrea Patiño is in her third year at Duke University majoring in Cultural Anthropology. She has been engaged in documentary photography for about a year now and is very passionate about it. While photography—especially photographing others—is an activity that poses a lot of questions, particularly about ethics, Andrea thinks that this medium is one of the best Continue reading…

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On the Farm With Fawaz

Every Sunday and Tuesday evening, I have Arabic lessons with an amazing teacher named Fawaz. I’m an absolute beginner at Arabic so class with him is always challenging, but he is incredibly patient and kind. When he mentioned a few weeks ago that he wanted to bring his Tuesday Arabic students to his farm on the outskirts of Nablus, I was really excited to spend some time talking with him and some of the other interns outside of our professional setting. Fawaz picked us up after work last Tuesday and drove us out to his farm after stopping at a Continue reading…

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Mr. Go -To

There are seldom times in our lives when we actually see how things are done behind the scenes. We rarely see how groups of people work together to tie up the world’s loose ends. At TYO, however, I have found a unique situation where one man works quietly and humbly to fulfill any-and-all tasks that are asked of him. This man is not your celebrity-status employee. He is not the one receiving the employee of the month award even though he probably would if such an award existed. However, his labor is omnipresent. Coming from a sports background, this individual Continue reading…