2020 proved to be a roller-coaster ride of emotions! It was a tough year for everyone; some worked more than usual, and others didn’t get the chance to work at all. Everyone lost something: either a job, their livelihood, a loved one, or time to see family and friends. The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 taught everyone to reflect, appreciate what they have, and strive to be better.
YES alumni in Jordan also used this year to contemplate the past and present, and evaluate the lessons they have learned. Like many others in the world, YES alumni lost family members, friends, and colleagues during 2020, and this made them more grateful for the people and relationships in their lives. They thought about the impact of their community service and resolved to think of new project ideas for the future. 2020 provided a lifetime of lessons in one year and, in the end, it made the YES alumni community in Jordan stronger and more resilient. As part of their reflection, Farah Alkafaween, Ashraf Abuelidam, and Hiba AlSheyab decided to create a video collage of their YES alumni community’s memories. For this three-minute-long video montage, approximately 170 alumni contributed photos and clips. The YES alumni were clearly eager to reflect on the good times that YES provided them.
In this compilation of YES memories, Hiba uploaded two pictures of her host family. One picture shows Hiba with her host family while on the YES program in the United States, and the second picture shows Hiba reunited with her host family in Jordan. Hiba shares, “I always said that my exchange year was awesome because of my host family. When my exchange year was coming to an end, all I thought was, ‘will I be able to gather with all of them again?’ Two years later we saw each other, but in Jordan!” Despite the difficulties of 2020, the YES alumni still remember the strong bonds they created with their host families in the United States.
Ashraf says, “The hardships that this year brought upon the world, Jordanians included, have been immense. Yet, through the tragedy, the YES alumni chapter in Jordan has always sought a light at the end of what felt like an endless tunnel. As we close out 2020, this holiday-inspired video represents what we all need: cheer.” We hope this video brings cheer to your new year in 2021!
Farah Alkafaween (YES 2008-2009, Jordan, placed with AYUSA in Finley, Washington State)
Ashraf Abuelidam (YES 2014-2015, Jordan, placed with CIEE in Milford, NH)
Hiba AlSheyab (YES 2014-2015, Jordan, placed with ASSE in Mead, Colorado)
Watch the video collage here!