YES Programs



Agent of Cultural Exchange

YES Alumni And Mesp Participants Standing Together In Two Rows

Cultural exchange is the bridge that connects humans all over the world. When you exchange cultures, you start living outside your comfort zone.  

YES alumni in the West Bank continue to serve as agents of cultural exchange, even within their home communities. On February 7, ten YES alumni gathered at the Amideast office in Ramallah for a cultural exchange event with a group of young American women who are part of the Middle East Studies Program (MESP). MESP is a study abroad program based in Amman, Jordan.  

Two Rows Of YES Alumni And Mesp Participants Facing Each Other

Seven MESP students and three MESP organizers visited the West Bank in February. With the YES alumni network, they planned a joint event for YES alumni and the MESP students. MESP students learned more about Palestinian culture and what life is like for young people in the West Bank. This was also an opportunity for the YES alumni to reconnect with students from the United States. 

The YES alumni and MESP students were divided into four groups. Each group included a mix of YES alumni and MESP students. They discussed each other's culture, traditions, and experiences. Every ten minutes, the groups rotated so everyone had a chance to speak with one another. At the end of the event, they gathered and took a group photo to keep as a beautiful memory.  

Ibrahim Bassalat ’20, says, “It is vital for today’s generation to realize the impact words can have. Meeting with people from around the world and telling them about Palestine helps amplify our voices and represent our culture” 

Ibrahim Bassalat (YES 2019 -2020, West Bank, placed by Ayusa in Madison, WI)