It does not feel like an end. It is just the beginning. That is how I look at my departure from Nablus, from my students, from my coworkers, from Palestine. I may be physically leaving but the work continues. My student’s newfound confidence in their own creativity, in their personal expression and in identity development will now be tested outside of my classroom. We ended this Triple Exposure program on the theme of story. Using the power of a story in discussing change and creating it within our own communities. But the story does not end. My student’s will have the opportunity to develop their own stories in the month that follows. A new class focused on Oral History and Storytelling will be offered specifically for them to continue their stories, to help them grow up.
We will all continue to do the important work that empowers the next generation. I believe that we are working towards a positive change, the empowerment of a community on every level. The themes of this session’s Triple Exposure program highlight this evolution, individual identity development, community awareness and finally the change that comes out of this. These themes will continue to affect the community through the next generation of leaders, the student’s of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization.
Beginning my time here as an intern I have had the privilege of seeing several of my student’s continue to evolve here at TYO. I see Olfat, Rafat, Hala and Hala as they head up the stairs for class, they are full of smiles and tell me how much they love their new classes. These previously quiet students now feel at home in TYO, I see them interacting with their peers and walking proudly at the front of the line.
I will continue to tell these stories, the stories of the children here in Nablus. As a photography teacher I have something more valuable than memory, I have the image that goes with it. The spark that brings the emotions, the reality to the story. As a teacher I have had the privilege of learning from my students while teaching them. From the soccer pitch to the crowded hallways of Balata primary school, I have witnessed the children of Nablus embrace challenge with determination and courage. Empowered, these young girls and boys will make a change. The story continues. Watch them.
Memories I will not forget:
First time with the Canon. Class: Basic D Where: Khallet al-Amood.
Puppet Faces: Momen and Nabil. Class: Basic D Where: Khallet al-Amood.
El Ein Girls. Class: Outreach Where: UNRWA Primary Girls School, El Ein Refugee Camp.
Before the game: TYO Girl’s Soccer Team. Where: Khallet al-Amood.
Story Day. Class: Basic D. Where: Kallet al-Amood.
-Abi is the Triple Exposure Coordinator