Vol. 1, No. 1 • February 2005
In This Welcome to the Alumni Newsletter
Issue... Welcome to the first edition of the Youth Exchange their respective countries. The YES Alumni Newsletter
and Study (YES) Alumni Newsletter for the Near for the Near East and Pakistan will serve as a medium
East and Pakistan. YES is a U.S. Department of State- for alumni to share their alumni chapter activities
Welcome to the funded scholarship program which provides secondary and the ways in which they continue to build the
school students in selected Middle Eastern, African, leadership and service skills they explored during
Alumni Newsletter and Asian countries the opportunity to live and their stay in the United States. We hope to initially
study in the U.S. for a full academic year. Scholarship produce this newsletter twice a year - once more
recipients live with host families, attend U.S. high students return from the program, and the alumni
Pakistan YES Alumni schools, and participate in special enrichment activities ranks grow, we may publish quarterly.
Initiate Darul... that include community service, youth leadership
training, civics education, and other activities that We encourage everyone to submit reports on the
help them develop a comprehensive understanding events held by your alumni chapter, including photos.
Greetings from of American culture and develop leadership skills. This newsletter can also provide you with a forum
Likewise, these students serve as cultural ambassadors to share and explore ideas across chapters. We would
Bob Persiko for their home countries, representing their own also like to provide information on important milestones
rich heritage to their American host communities. in your lives that you would like to share with your
fellow alumni, whether it is acceptance to college,
YES Alumni Published The first YES alumni returned home in June, 2004. graduation with honors, a wedding, etc. The newsletter
Most are currently busy studying for their final is for you and about you, so we hope you will take
school leaving exams this year; some have already advantage of this opportunity to keep in touch.
YES Alumni Chapter begun post-secondary studies. Most all have been Please contact your local AMIDEAST or iEARN
active in trying to establish alumni chapter clubs in office for submission of your news.
Lebanon Pakistan YES Alumni Initiate Darul
Sukoon Community Service Project
Tunisia Umme Kulsoom spent her year as a YES student at Westminster After experiencing life in United States of America
High School in Maryland. She is currently in the 11th grade and exploring the horizon, the entire group from
at The Saint Joseph's Girls' College. Umme and eight other Karachi has set their mind on starting a change in
Yemen alumni visited Darul Sukoon, a home for special needs children our society. We established the YES alumni network
and adults. Here she shares their experience and how community with a mission and a vision to make a difference,
service inspired her and the other Karachi alumni. using the skills and attitudes acquired during the
Alumni Milestones YES program. We are committed to developing and
"The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer implementing different alumni activities, and practicing
someone else up!" and promoting good citizenship is paramount in all
Alumni -Pakistani Proverb our projects. We all want to help out by voluntary
service to our communities. We feel like we are
Mini-Grants This is true. Taking out some time from your hectic bridges between the two cultures, so we can extract
Announcement daily routine and sharing some time with people the good points from both worlds and use them to
who are disabled is always considered a good deed help our society. We believe that we owe it to our
and it gives you a feeling that you will never forget. country and society because we got the chance to
Pakistan continued page 7
Greetings from Bob Persiko
Dear Alumni of the P4L YES program:
I am happy to report to you that the YES program is thriving and growing. From 160 participants in 2003-2004 the
number increased this year to a current 450, and in the coming year (2005-2006) it will likely grow again to 650-675.
President Bush has just submitted his request to Congress for fiscal year 2006 and has requested an increase in funding
for the YES program, so we are optimistic that the upward trend will continue.
Now that you are back home we are beginning to hear about some of the activities you are engaged in that demonstrate your
leadership on behalf of your societies. The goal of the YES program is to give the participants tools that will enable them
to be successful while on the exchange and when they return home. The program's success will be judged as much by
what you achieve as alumni as it is by what you did in the U.S. Where there are a large number of alumni in a country, it
is easier to form an alumni association and undertake projects as a group. In some places the small number of alumni from
the first year makes this more difficult. It will help when the second year students return, but I would encourage you to
look for opportunities to serve now even if your numbers are small. As individuals you can offer your services as volun-
teers for organizations that are working in your communities on social and environmental issues or in other fields that
interest you. Additionally, there are international organizations appealing for volunteers. Here are three:
• Youth Action Net - Connecting Youth to Create Change: A dynamic website created by and for young people,
YouthActionNet spotlights the vital role that youth play in leading positive change around the world. Launched in
2001 by the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and Nokia, YouthActionNet serves as a virtual gathering place
for young people looking to connect with each other – and with ideas for how to make a
difference in their communities. http://www.youthactionnet.org/who
• Taking It Global: TakingITGlobal.org is a global online community, providing youth with inspiration to make a
difference, a source of information on issues, opportunities to take action, and a bridge to get involved locally,
nationally and globally. Membership is free of charge and allows you to interact with various aspects of the website,
to contribute ideas, experiences, and actions.
• Global Youth Service Day - April 15-17: Millions of young people in countries everywhere highlighted and carried
out thousands of community improvement projects. http://www.gysd.net/home/index.html
I know you lead busy lives with school and other pursuits, but I hope you will find a way to make a difference where it
counts, in your community. We look forward to hearing more about what you are doing.
Chief, Youth Programs Division
Office of Citizen Exchanges
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs U.S. Department of State
YES Alumni Chapter YES Alumni
Alumnus Laith Hajarat presented his YES experiences
during a reception for International Education Week
held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Amman. Over 150 people
attended, including participants of other education and
exchange programs and their parents, Embassy staff, colleagues
from YES partner organization iEARN Jordan, and
Jordanian educators. Laith discussed his experience as a
YES student in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He shared
pictures and memories of his host family, including the
experience of helping with family chores! After the presentation he spoke with
students, their parents and school headmasters who were interested to hear
more about the YES program. Samy and Mireille in the recording studio
Very shortly, if independent publisher Lonnie
Daizovi has her way, hundreds of Americans studying
beginning Arabic will become very familiar with the
voices of YES alumni Mireille Moukarzel (Lebanon)
and Samy Qarmout (Palestine) without ever having
Mireille and Samy recently made their debut in print
and CD with the publication of Musical Arabic: Chants,
Rhythms and Music for Learning Arabic at Any Age. The book
was the brainchild of Ms. Daizovi, who also teaches
English as a Second Language and Spanish at Manzano
Laith Hajarat attended the International Education Week reception with his parents and aunt
High School where Mireille and Samy studied. Ms.
Daizovi, who has published several workbooks
focused on foreign language learning, said that
Kuwait Mireille and Samy inspired her to publish the workbook
when she observed them during the informal Arabic
Alumni met with departing YES students in August to share their experiences classes they taught at the high school's multi-cultural
abroad and give tips on ways to adapt to a host community, fit in with their club. "Both Mireille and Samy were fantastic teachers.
host family, make friends, and confront common difficulties. Basil Al Majollem, They motivated the class to enjoy learning Arabic by
father of current YES student Abdul Razak Al Majollem, also attended the teaching through music," said Ms. Daizvoi.
meeting to share his parental perspective.
Working together, the trio used both known and
The alumni kicked off chapter activities with then-Secretary of State Colin original tunes and rhythms. They translated and
Powell in August. They joined participants of other U.S. exchange programs to adapted the scripts from the original English to
meet with Powell and to discuss current educational, cultural and political issues. appropriate Arabic. "Arabic can seem very foreign to
Powell emphasized the importance of exchange programs and the opportunities Americans, who are not used to reading Arabic
they provide for cross-cultural understanding and he praised the students for their
script," explained Ms. Daizovi. "Musical Arabic was
initiative and achievement in taking part of the program.
made to be more personable, to introduce Arabic in a
manageable and less threatening way."
Alumni have also been reflecting on their year abroad: "It's a life-changing
experience that no one should miss," said Batool Hassan. "It sets a lot of ideas
and individuals get exposed to a new great culture." Jassim Al-Ghanim pointed Mireille and Samy were integral to the production of
out that the experience has influenced his family as well. "My parents were Musical Arabic; besides helping to translate and adapt
really worried that I was heading off to the US, but after I came back and told lyrics they also recorded all of the songs. They
Published continued page 5
impacted them as students and
as future leaders. Sleiman
Sleiman shared what he learned
as a volunteer at the Autism
Academy of Learning and at the
Islamic Center of Greater Toledo in Ohio:
"Going to the classroom was a must for me,
although it was early on Sunday when most people
were still sleeping. Giving something to the community
became a habit, spending a week without seeing the kids at
the Autism Academy or at the mosque used to drive me crazy. It
was something that I liked, something that I needed. This is what
America taught me: Societies don't progress unless the people help each
other. The reward is not always material, but is in the sweet taste of knowing that
them how much I learned and you did something good."
that I have gained an excellent
experience to set me off for my
future life, they knew that they
did the right thing by allowing
me to go and study there," he said.
Dalal Al-Sharhan agreed. "Going
to the US gave me the chance of
getting exposed to a new culture,
new ideas, new thoughts…it's a
whole new world. It was an
The Kuwaiti alumni chapter: (top row, from left to
Alumni have helped to promote
right) Dalal Al- Sharhan, Batool Hassan, Zaina Al-
Mussallam (bottom row) Amer Akkad and Zeinab educational opportunities in a
Hassan. (not pictured, Jassim variety of venues. They volunteered
Al- Ghanim) at the Linden Fair, a college (from left to right) Alumni Imad Khaled, Ahmad Ilani, Hisham Koteich, Steve Harmanlikian,
admissions officer tour that provides information on educational opportunities Falak Tinaoui, Hiba Chahine, Kwather Taleb, Mireille Moukarzell (speaking), and Sleiman
Sleiman address the assembly.
to students who wish to study in the United States. Alumni manned
a booth at the fair and shared not only information on educational services
and opportunities but also their own experiences as exchange students. Falak Tinaoui also shared how her year abroad influenced her:
Alumni were also involved with the YES recruitment process at the
AMIDEAST office, answering questions for applicants and their parents. "It changed my life, affected my
personality and matured my mind. I
In November, alumni gathered to celebrate thanksgiving with all the came back as a totally new person
fixings-from turkey to cranberries and pumpkin pie-at the American with new thoughts and new actions. I
University of Kuwait, Salmiya. Alumni shared the meal and their feel like I grew up more than a year
memories of their year abroad with other scholarship students and as I can understand life better and I
local officials. The American Embassy Cultural Affairs Officer, Ali am more accepting of others. I am
Lejlic, AMIDEAST Educational Adviser, Lorey Cross, and self confident and can push myself to
AMIDEAST ACCESS Coordinator, Darwin Cotton, addressed the do things I was scared of even thinking
students. After the meal, the students toured the new American Sleiman Sleiman, Steve Harmanlikian and Hisham
Koteich speak with Ambassdor Jeffery Feltman of doing before. I gained courage to
University Campus. after the presentation. try different activities, new foods,
and in general be adventurous. Now,
back in Lebanon, I have become active in my family, school, and community. The
Lebanon community service that I experienced in the United States changed my view to the
world and to all sorts of people. I love helping others now and I am more sensitive to
Lebanon alumni helped to kick off another YES recruitment season others' needs. I feel I am an effective part of my community."
this year in October at the YES program press conference and reception,
held at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut. The nine members of In addition to the alumni, featured speakers included the United
the alumni chapter addressed the assembly, underlining the States Ambassador Jeffery Feltman, the Director General of the
importance of the exchange experience and how their experience Ministry of Education George Nehme, the AMIDEAST Country
Director Barbara Batlouni and Mohamad Higazy, the father of current YES student
Lamis Higazy. The event was attended by over 150 guests; including parents of
alumni as well as current students, school principals from around the country, added touches of their own personality and culture
education and embassy officials and press representatives. to the project as they employed Modern Standard
Arabic as well as dialects commonly used in their
Alumnus Hisham Koteich has formed a tutoring club at his secondary school. respective home countries. "Mireille and Samy
He says his motivation comes from the experiences he had as a YES student: emphasized that though nations in the Middle East
"Community Service helped me meet new people and build up my personality, share commonalities, there is also richness in diversity
and when I came back home, I wanted to share with my friends the experiences of culture, language and religion. It was exciting to
that I gained and in the same time help them out." incorporate that diversity in this project." Ms.
Daizovi said. Samy remembers the sometimes heated
discussions with Mireille over language and how it
Pakistan would be presented in the book: "'No, no this word is
used only in Palestine'. Or 'No, no this is a Lebanese
The Pakistan alumni chapter has gotten off to an impressive start, initiating a dialect word'. 'Should we put a girl with a head scarf
number of community service activities since their return from the United or without on this page?'"
States this summer.
Ms. Daizovi said that she has received a "tremendous
Alumni participated in the pre-departure
response" to Musical Arabic since its publication.
orientation for the 2004-2005 YES
Mireille isn't surprised by this. She recalls that as an
scholars by facilitating sessions on a
exchange student, "American people showed a great
variety of cultural topics including
family relationships, dating, living in a interest in learning my Arabic language and getting
multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society, to know more about my Lebanese background."
budgeting and problem-solving.
Mireille and Samy have found that along with the
Karachi alumni found themselves on achievement of being published, there is pride in
the silver screen as a result of their knowing they have made a long-term impact on
Alumnae Nazish Farooq and Maham Malik do the cross-cultural understanding. Notes Mireille, "I am
service initiative to raise public awareness honors at a tree planting ceremony during an envi-
of the hardships faced by street children. ronmental awareness event in their community. proud that I was able to transmit my culture and
Coordinating with INITIATORS, an prove myself through different ways, and that made
organization focusing on the needs of street children, alumni interviewed local my experience an unforgettable lifetime adventure."
officials and underprivileged children for a twenty-minute documentary. The Sami adds, "Languages are your passport to the
video was screened at a local human rights event held during International world. If you want to spread your culture, if you
Education Week. Alumni also aided INITIATORS in distributing donated want people to know more about your country, your
clothing for street children during the month of Ramadan. people's beliefs and history, you must teach them
your language so they feel more connected with the
Alumni Arshela Ali, Barkat Buruddin, Nazish Mandhani, Syed Mehdi, and culture, history and heritage."
Umme Kulsoom have initiated a variety of activities in their community at the
Aga Khan School. Students have made a number of presentations, including Both Mireille and Samy have made a large contribution
topics covering American culture, community service and American education. They
towards doing just that. And both are very happy
have also helped their peers improve their spoken English by leading conversation
with the finished product. "The feeling was thrilling
classes. In addition, Syed and Umme are teaching specialized classes: Syed
when I received the book and showed it to my parents,"
hopes to develop confidence and creativity in 10th grade students through his
said Sami. "Not only was I the first Qarmout to travel
communication skills class and Umme is teaching ceramics, a talent that she
discovered during her year in the U.S. to the U.S., but I was the first one to put the family
name on a teaching book!"
Faheem Zaidi, Hassan Khemji, Khurram Zaidi, Syed Yasir and Tauqeer Fazal,
alumni currently studying at the Al-Murtuzah school, have given a number of For more information about Musical Arabic please
presentations on American culture and their experience abroad. They have included contact Lonnie Daizovi at Loni@vibrante.com or visit
in their presentations a discussion between teachers and students about various www.vibrante.com
educational methods used in other countries and ways in which these methods
could be incorporated in their classrooms. Hassan has also been serving his
community by volunteering at a local hospital building project on weekends.
Sehrish Khan, Sajjad Ashraf and Fahad Ishtiaq, alumni studying at Behria
College in Karachi, have joined together for two service projects. They teach
Damascus. She describes the
project as follows: "With help
from our school principal, we
submitted a proposal to the
Ministry of Education to allow us to
do a recycling project. After about a
month it was approved. Now we have
to personally carry the responsibility of
advertising it and keeping the baskets
organized, as well as having to contact the
factories that are supposed to recycle the materials.
It's quite some work!"
Alumni reunite for an Iftar celebration in October.
English weekly at a primary school for low-income children. They
also worked on a day-long campaign for the eradication of Polio
in their community. After a being trained for the event, they
visited more than 500 homes and administered polio drop
vaccines to more then 600 children.
Nazish Madhani volunteers at a children's library located in her
community center in Karachi. The library's activities in which she
participates are puzzle solving, story telling, quizzes, poster
The girls in the picture are my dearest friends from high school. We met in 10th grade, and bonded
competitions, book reviews, creative writing and sports. "These
very easily. In the pre-departure orientation they told us that our friends back home might have
activities not only nurture a child mentally and physically but they changed just as we have in the past year. They made us not expect much in order not to be
also fulfill the purpose of exposing hidden talents, promoting reading disappointed. But in my case, being apart from friends for about a year has made each of us
habits and enhancing confidence," she said. realize how close we were and has made our friendship stronger.
Maya Al Kateb
Alumni have been involved in numerous YES recruitment activities.
Umme Kulsoom traveled to the U.S. consulate in Peshawar to present her
Maya Al Kateb and Hazem Torfah traveled to Jordan to attend the
YES experiences to officials representing fourteen organizations from
annual iEARN conference in July. Maya and Hazem joined Jordan
the Northwest Frontier Province in Pakistan, a region new to the YES
YES alumnus Laith Hajarat in delivering a presentation on their YES
program. Also, alumni from Islamabad and Pindi have made a number
experiences to the conference assembly. The students prepared a
of presentations about the YES program for interested applicants and their
multimedia presentation that
parents, education officials and school principals.
included photos of events in
which they had participated
Syria while in the U.S., including
community service, school
activities and presentations to
The alumni chapter of six students jumped into action after their
peers and community
return from the U.S. by assisting in the pre-departure orientation
members about their countries
for the 2004-2005 YES students. Departing YES students benefited
and language. They also
from hearing alumni experiences and suggestions about integrating (from left to right—top) Hazem Torfah, Ma’en shared their personal
into American culture and sharing Syrian culture. Zeino, AMIDEAST Country Director Barbara
Al-Nouri, Reem Gojal, Rahaf Zakaria
achievements on the program
(center)AMIDEAST Educational Advisor Rasha and how they plan to continue
Since the pre-departure orientation, the alumni chapter has met
Rayes and Maya Al Akteb to pursue the goals of the YES
monthly to discuss their readjustment and to decide what (bottom) Lianour Barakat program in their home countries.
activities they would like to pursue as a group.
"We enjoyed the conference-it was great to meet new people from
While they are making their plans, some students have taken
around the world including the U.S., Pakistan, Malaysia, Arab countries
their own initiatives. Maya Al Kateb, with the help of some of
and more. We also did some community service in Jordan during the
her friends, has started a recycling project at her high school in
conference. Some went the park to clean and others went to an infirmary,"
Reem Gojal reunited with her host family last summer when they visited Syria
from Carlsbad, California. Reem's family and host family spent time getting to
know each other and seeing the sights of Syria.
(top left to top right) Sajjad Fahad, Kazim Raza, 2 residents of Darul Sukoon,
Taimur Ali, Fatima Rawjani and (bottom left) Fahad Ishtiaq.
United States Ambassador, William
Hudson, welcomed Tunisia's two YES Pakistan continued
alumni, Nadhem Dhidah and Mohamed
Amine Najahi to a reception held in their have such experience and we want to repay it by
honor in July, soon after their return. starting a system in which young kids can work and
Ambassador Hudson thanked the parents learn the importance of volunteering.
of Mohamed and Nadhem for encouraging
and supporting the decisions of their We decided to spend some quality time with the
sons to participate in the YES Program. people at Dar-ul-Sukoon which is an orphanage and
(from left to right) Mr. & Mrs. Dhidah, Nadhem
He praised the boys for being good Dhidah, Ambassador William Hudson, Mohamed school for special people located in Karachi and run
ambassadors for Tunisia and requested Amine Najahi, Mrs. Najahi & Mr. Najahi. by a non- governmental organization. At first the
that they share their impressions of kids and the adults were kind of scared to see all of
Americans and life in the USA with their Tunisian student colleagues, family us but when we started to talk to them and entertain
and friends. The Ambassador closed by saying that such exchange experiences them with balloons and candies, it was a very special
are probably the best way to truly break down the preconceptions and for them. We also took along cakes, cookies, some
prejudices that exist both on the part of Americans and on the part of people snacks and other food. We met Mani, who is a very
from the Arab world. The Public Affairs Officer of the Embassy, Mr. Philip active child. We spoke just like we were friends. We
Breeden, was present for the discussion with the Ambassador. celebrated his birthday and everyone had birthday
cake. It was a fun activity. Then Mani showed us a
dance, which we really appreciated. Then Mani
West Bank/Gaza showed us a certificate that he was given by the
Special Olympics on his achievement in one of the events.
West Bank alumna Safaa Halahla participated in the Pre-Departure Orientation
program for departing YES participants in July, 2004. Alumnae Safaa and Dar-ul-Sukoon has people from all age groups. An
Hadeel Dalloul assisted in the student interviewprocess for the 2005 YES older woman, Polly, was very social because she knew
recruitment, which took place in February. everyone at the school and was very nice with us as
well. She helped us in distributing food. Another
The two reflected on how their year-abroad on the YES program has changed person named Mehwish was very friendly with us.
them personally. There were little kids there who were very cute and
were trying to learn new games from us. The girls
Hadeel notes: being called "Baji" (sister) and boys being called
"Bhaai" (brother) gave us the feeling of appreciation
Coming back from the USA was an experience that was different from any other experience I and eternal joy that can only be gotten by doing a
have ever had. That one year in the USA caused a lot of remarkable changes in my personality good deed.
since I was away from my family, my friends and my society. When I came back I found
everything different. I thought that everything had changed while I was gone; I didn't realize We all participated during the visit. Arshela, Nazish
that I was the one who had changed until my family and my friends started to tell me how I and Tauqeer Fazal were taking care of some of the kids.
changed. It was more difficult for them to adapt to my new personality and ideas than it was Syed Mehdi, Mahad Hamza, Fahad Ishtiaq and Sehrish
for me; I had no problem with readjusting to my new life! The biggest problem was with my Khan helped in distributing the foodstuff. Syed
family. They thought that I was acting as a grown-up more than as a teenager. They wanted YasirHussain blew up the balloons. I was the photographer.
me to behave like girls my age; they wanted me to stay the same little girl that wanted to go to
America just to see what it looked like. At first they were shocked at the different person I had Later in afternoon we returned from Dar-ul-sukoon.
become, but they now find that this is a positive thing. They see that I now know what I want It was a very good way to start our community work
and I know how to get what I want. I am a more social person. All of this has made me discover in Karachi. We will try to visit some more places like
new things about my own society, and made me see things from a new point of view. This is all due that which will help us experience different organizations
to the YES program, which gave me self-confidence and let me discover new facts about the world. and their efforts for humanity in our society.
Alumnus Sallam Thabit participated in an International Education
Week event in Sana'a discussing study abroad opportunities.
Sallam presented his experiences as a high school exchange student
in Falls Church, Virginia and answered questions about cultural
differences and his educational experience.
In Aden, alumna Eleena Al Hakimi presented the tradition of
Thanksgiving to English language students at the AMIDEAST office.
Besides explaining the holiday, Eleena shared her experiencesas a YES student
living in York, Pennsylvania and her impressions of American culture.
Samy Qarmout (center right) helped to interview YES applicant Yafa Al Mozaein along with questions and
Chris Shinn, West Bank/Gaza AMIDEAST Country Director (far left) and Dr. Akram encouraged them to
Habeeb, a Fulbright alumnus (far right). apply to study
abroad programs to
Safaa says: increase their
awareness of other
No wonder that my life has changed 180 degrees since I came back from the cultures and to
USA. I am a completely different person; I have my own personality, confidence share Yemeni culture
and I know I can rely entirely on myself. I guess the YES program did me a Alumnus Sallam Thabet gives a presentation to area high with others.
great favor by changing me into that new young lady who was always inside of school students, accompanied by AMIDEAST Educational
Adviser Mohamed Kassim (seated to the left of Sallam).
me. It was not easy to adjust to my old life after leaving it for a whole year. I
changed a lot, and the people I lived with changed as well. They started to look
at me as the "American girl". My parents and friends did not like my new attitude,
as I was really arrogant the first week I came back. I felt lost comparing the
two extremely different worlds. I remember how shocked I was when I got off
the airplane to see that this was my world; I could not believe that I was back Rahaf Zakaria is a first year college student majoring in
again. I went through another culture shock which might be harder than the first pharmacy at Qalamoun University in Deir Atieh, Syria. Rahaf's
one in the USA. Maybe comparing things made it worse. So I had to give up some year abroad helped her to improve her English language ability so
habits, and accept my life as it was, with some improvements. Not only were much that she did not have to take extra English courses, usually
my parents affected by my trip, but also my teachers and friends at school. required for incoming students. This year she is studying half her
Several teachers and friends thought my experience was a waste of time because subjects in English and next year she will begin to study entirely in
I missed an academic year at my school. Others thought the opposite. English.
However, all of these negative issues turned out to be minor. According to my
mother, my character has developed and I have become more aware of the sense
of responsibility. Now I am accurate and almost always on time (not like most
Arabs!). Moreover, I am more confident of myself and I no longer see the world
Calling all YES Alumni!
from the same limited view. Just as relationships with other people enable us to Do you have an idea for a project or activity you would like to
acknowledge new aspects of ourselves, the YES program allowed us to reach great organize in your home country? AMIDEAST and iEARN are
levels of self-awareness. pleased to announce YES Alumni Mini-Grants to help you do
just that. Individuals or groups of YES alumni may apply for
Gaza alumnus Samy Qarmout participated in the pre-departure mini-grants of up to 250 USD per proposal to fund projects
orientation for departing YES students in July. He also served as that promote community service, knowledge of English,
an interviewer for the 2005-2006 YES candidates in February. understanding of American culture, professional or leadership
development or other projects true to the spirit of the YES
program. Contact your local AMIDEAST or iEARN office for
more information about the mini-grants and how to apply.
The YES Alumni Newsletter for the Near East and Pakistan is produced by AMIDEAST. The
YES scholarship program is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Cultural
and Educational Affairs and administered by several organizations. AMIDEAST is part
of a consortium that includes AYUSA International, ASSE, ASPECT Foundation, CIEE,
YES iEARN, Nacel Open Door, PIE, and Sister Cities International.