YES Programs



Connecting and Celebrating

A Group Of Alumni Cutting A Cake With The 20Th Anniversary Logo

On August 26-27, 110 Lebanese YES alumni gathered at the Chtaura Park Hotel in Chtaura for their annual retreat to celebrate the YES 20th anniversary. The retreat included activities around team building, group games, skills development, and networking.  

A Group Of Alumni In Blue Yes T Shirts Sitting In A Circle

The event kicked off with a welcome from the Amideast/Lebanon Country Director, Rana Taher, followed by icebreakers for the alumni to get to know each other. Then Leen Al Yaman, Exchanges Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy and a YES alum herself, welcomed the alumni and spoke about the importance of the YES program. Following that, four U.S. Marines from the U.S. Embassy led a workshop on leadership and physical fitness.  

After lunch, the alumni board members facilitated small group discussions on community service and project implementation. They also led a brainstorming session in their regional groups to develop a community project they want to implement in the coming year. Then, the alumni chose to participate in one of three workshops on self-defense, Zumba, and Lebanese Dabke.  

Four U S  Marines Stand At The Front Of A Room

Before dinner, the alumni celebrated the 20th anniversary with a group photo, balloons, and a cake. They were also surprised by Mahdi Hallal ‘18, the alumni association president, who arrived from the airport just in time to cut the cake after spending the past month in Washington, D.C. as a D.C. Orientation Instructor.  

The second day of the retreat was filled with nine workshops, including EducationUSA graduate and undergraduate workshops, a project management session, strategic communications, employability, photography, yoga, Arabic dance technique, self-defense, and road safety.  

This event showcased the successes of the YES alumni in Lebanon and brought together so many different alumni from different backgrounds! We already can’t wait for next year’s retreat.  

Mahdi Hallal (YES 2017-2018, Lebanon, placed by PAX in Rochester, NH) 

A Group Of Alumni On Grass With The 20Th Anniversary Logos