On May 20, 11 YES alumni in Kuwait participated in a virtual Ghabqa. A Ghabqa is a traditional Kuwaiti gathering that takes place during the month of Ramadan after breaking fast. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Ghabqa was conducted virtually. Alongside the YES alumni, the U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait, Alina Romanoski, Public Affairs Officer (PAO), Lourdes Lamela, and Cultural Affairs Officer (CAO), Nelson Wen, joined the session. During the virtual Ghabqa, the participants also shared traditional dishes and wore traditional attire. All 11 alumni took turns talking about their YES year in the United States, and shared photos and special memories that they made with their host families.
Youssef Badawy (YES '20) shared some photos of his YES year and talked about his participation in different clubs, and how he tried new activities like ballet. Youssef also explained that he was a little nervous about living in Idaho because he didn’t know what to expect. However, Youssef was happy to say that his experience in Idaho was much better than he could have ever imagined! Youssef also had an opportunity to meet with Representative Mike Crapo. He also met with Senator Russ Fulcher and Senator Mike Simpson.
Fatimatou Aidara (YES '20) shared a story about how she managed to deal with homesickness and was able to enjoy her time on the program. Fatimatou also talked about the importance of spending time with her host family, and how that helped her enjoy her time in the United States.
Ambassador Romanoski shared her excitement while listening to the students talk about their YES experiences. She even discussed how she was a part of the YES Program’s early beginnings. Ambassador Romanoski was impressed when she listened to their stories and congratulated them for successfully completing the program.
Youssef Badawy (YES 2019-2020, Kuwait, hosted by CIEE, in Caldwell, ID)
Fatimatou Aidara (YES 2019–2020, Kuwait, hosted by PAX, in Olympia, WA)
Read more about some of our Kuwaiti alumni's YES experiences from Youssef and Aljood!