YES Programs



Alumni Cultivate Storytelling in the Middle East

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In July, another Regional Digital Storytelling Workshop was organized as part of the 10th anniversary of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study program. The first workshop, hosted in Ghana, was a huge success for the African region. The Middle East regional event brought together 23 YES alumni from 12 different countries and territories.

Similar to the first, this Digital Storytelling Workshop enhanced and expanded participants' technical skills in video, photography and social media through hands-on projects. In today's multimedia environment, activism and community service require a range of communication and media skills. The workshop explored storytelling and interview techniques, and focused on creating accessible messages for both local and international audiences.

Divided into five production teams, participants completed a digital storytelling project about a fellow YES alumnus. Many of the students came from politically charged climates where social media has set youth engagement aflame. The relevance of the workshop was reaffirmed by their energy and dedication through an intensive five days. Below are some of the quotes from participants:

“It made me more responsible to my community’s problems since now I know a good tool to solve some of my community’s problems.”

“This workshop has helped me acknowledge my capability as an active digital citizen in making a change in my society and in the world.”

“Honestly, I had never been into this kind of stuff, but now I see this as an entirely different way of communication and reaching out to new people. Since my biggest passion is communication, I will use digital storytelling in every which way I can.”

Participants utilized all the skills they learned in the sessions and received one-on-one guidance from trainers. To view the videos, please see below.

What's Missing from Class?
This video was produced by the following alumni: Ahmad Touqan, Palestine; Maysa Tannous, Qatar; Mona Shimi, Israel Arab Community; Omran Nawfal, Lebanon.

Life in Minutes
This video was produced by Ahmed Salem, Yemen; Amal Ashour, Palestine; Majd Shiban, Kuwait; Oyku Akin, Turkey; Raghad Al-obaid, Saudi Arabia.

The Right to Play
Team members included: Ezz Aldhubhani, Yemen; Ghadir Aburokba, Palestine; Jilane Khazaal, Lebanon; Own Alhourani, Jordan.

Smile: No Child is Left Behind
Digital storytelling members included: Alper Yaramanoglu, Turkey; Emily Jaber, Palestine; Karim Yasser, Qatar; Katreen Milhim, Israel Arab Community; Mahmood Abdulla, Bahrain.

Connecting Generations
Team members included: Atakan Gungordu, Turkey; Mohammad Al Hariri, Lebanon; Nadine Nader, Qatar; Sarah Varouqa, Jordan; Shady Sabbagh, Israel Arab Community.

Through the workshop students not only sharpened leadership skills, gained new digital media and social media skills, but also began building a regional alumni network. Now, they have been tasked with completing an individual digital media project about a story in their community. They must produce a 2-3 minutes video using the skills that they learned at the workshop. Watch the YESProgramsTV YouTube channel for the individual projects as they are released!

View more pictures from the workshop!