Hello Everyone,

Attached to this post is the recently completed RecrearApply! Workshop Summary! We are very excited to release this file and we can’t believe it’s been a month since we left Palestine after having such a life changing experience.  We miss all of you and would appreciate any feedback you have regarding the summary.

Much Love,

Komal

RecrearApply! Summary

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We would really appreciate if all the students who attended the Recrear-Apply! Workshop last week could take a few minutes to complete our feedback form. Please click here to access the form.

Thanks for helping Recrear improve!

– The Recrear-Apply! Team

Komal was interviewed this morning for CBC Radio 1’s Ottawa Morning Show.  Click the link below to hear about RecrearApply!

Ottawa Morning with Kathleen Petty

Our last day at al-Najah was beautifully unexpected.

After the ‘Arabic speech’ (I must admit I have never been so nervous speaking in public), I was really touched by the Prezi presentations a group of students prepared for us. I wished I could have stopped time to sit and enjoy that moment. I did not know that this desire would have continued throughout the morning.

Cutting the red ribbon at the entrance of the Global Village exposition was another strong emotion. I have never thought I would be asked to cut a red ribbon! The ‘cut of the ribbon’ initiated one of the most exciting hours of my life.

It was definitely over whelming to be in the spot light. As Kirsten pointed out, in our sessions during Recrear-Apply! we stressed the importance of sharing your story to connect with others. Our students got the point! The Global Village was a manifestation of different stories. Every conversation I had in that short time has been important and telling.

I tried to shut down the rest of the universe for those few minutes and dedicate my full attention to the person that was sharing something precious and unique with me. I was truly on a high while hearing about every school project and village, tasting traditional food, admiring paintings or playing ping-pong.

I want the al-Najah students and volunteers to know that those moments were very special for me.  I wish I had the chance to express my gratitude for all the efforts they have put in preparing such a beautiful and flattering event for all of us.

Gioel

So our time here has come to an end and the closing ceremony last night was a powerful one. Between delivering our attempted speech in Arabic, then English, attending the global village, playing volleyball with the students, doing our first ever radio interview and then eventually leaving Nablus, it’s difficult to process that our time here is finished. Yet even though it went by in the blink of an eye, the memories made here will certainly last a life time. As Gioel would say, I’ve taken a ‘mental picture’ and they will stay with me always. In this picture I see a unique landscape, an intricate history and a people who embrace their identity without question. This picture of Palestine and the lovely students of An-Najah I can share with everyone.

To everyone I’ve met during my time here, thank you for the experience. You have shown me genuine warmth that feels like seeing an old friend. Not only the students, but the wonderful volunteers who without this workshop wouldn’t have been possible.

All I could ask of the students is to find their drive and allow that ‘why’ to guide them through everything they may face. Having a Palestinian identity may present its challenges but always know that this identity is not a limitation but an advantage.

Finally, I have to thank my fellow Recrear colleagues. Sharing this experience with you all has been a part of the reason why it has been so wonderful. No matter what, I know each of you will be a constant in my life for my foreseeable future, and knowing this makes me smile from inside out.

Ana ohiboukum!

Being here has inspired a multitude of possibilities for future projects here. The future is incredibly exciting, and expect that Recrear will be back in Palestine sooner than you think! To the students: keep pushing boundaries because when I come back I want to hear all about it.

Take care!

K.W

Marhaban.  It has been a privilege and an honor to have been working with all of you over the past two weeks.  It is humbling to witness your perseverance and ambition as individuals as you work towards bettering yourself and your community here in Palestine.

We at Recrear are a small network of youth who believe that if we can inspire just one person, to connect even one idea to spark another’s passion, then we can create an action big enough to impact a community.  I feel that in our time here at An-Najah we have succeeded in doing that.

We came to Palestine as five individuals from different cultures to help teach you the skills we have found useful in our own lives, in order to equip you to be as successful as you strive to be.  I want you to remember that you have the ability to think outside the box, to knock on doors you did not previously see, to imagine new goals for your future, and most importantly, to know you have the skills and support to go after them.

I have found a part of myself in so many of you here so I would like to tell you this: I am no different from you.  I am a man.  I am a student.  I find myself successful in pursuing my own life’s happiness because I work hard to turn obstacles into challenges.  This power is yours too.  Success means nothing without failure.  When you hit a wall, look for a window.   When you don’t know what your next move should be, seek out help.  When you are told no to a request, ask the question in a different way.

It may take a village to raise a child, but it only takes an individual to raise a community.

-KP

Did the past two weeks actually happen?  Two weeks literally felt like two minutes.

I am so proud of my RecrearApply! team for their passion and commitment to our workshops and our project.  Gioel, Kevin, Kirsten and Qasim, you have all inspired me to keep going, to push myself and to continue giving to the people around me.  We have made a change, we have left a lasting impression on many people at An-Najah… this is incredible.

As I sit at Maya’s house in Tel Aviv reflecting on our time spent together, I can’t help but feel so lucky and so amazed at the potential within each of us and within all the people I’ve met through Recrear, in Berlin and in Nablus.  We will continue to commit to implementing change and to commit to projects that will affect people around the world. This is why I love all of you, you make me better and stronger, and for this, I thank you.

– KM

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I’m terrified my thoughts are going to run away with me so here is my attempt to catch everything in writing. Since I’ve been here I have forgotten that I’m still a student studying to attain a degree. But that’s just it, I’m not just a student. I never was, and neither are the students of An-Najah. They are individuals with real possibilities who are only now learning that there is no real cue for embracing your potential. These students are so appreciative of what we’re doing and have kindly appraised us but ultimately I look out at the crowd and see many people who are the same age as me, many of them even older. Who have the same enthusiasm about life and more uniquely a passion about their identity as Palestinians. It’s like seeing all the right ingredients lined up but yet to be mixed together. Ultimately there is never a wrong time to take initiative.
Truly, I don’t believe in obstacles. More simply it’s a matter of getting over the fear of trying something new. This resonates even more here where a history of conflict and a slowly changing cultural dynamic has given few spaces for youth here to pursue a desire without invitation. To the students, if you’re reading this: this is your invite to go forth blindly and boldly because that is where development happens. Know that people may laugh at you, think your ideas and your general will to be crazy, but none of that matters when you ultimately succeed in the end. Convert the non-believers by proving them wrong.

As I’ve said time and time again, you all truly do have a story to tell. The joie de vivre these students have is inspiring. It’s moving to see how much these students value the most basic facets of individual welfare: things like family, and their national identity as Palestinians. Although they may not be able to count on stability at the macro level of their lives, they reject the idea that such political affairs should ever get in the way of their ability to enjoy life, however simple. That to me is beautiful.

When I facilitated the Development Theatre session with the students today, I saw glimpses of that radiance come out. It amazes me to no end to think that they can bravely come in front of an audience and share their story – the ‘why’, in a language that is only second to them. It’s sad to think this is the last session, but I hope that these students turn away from the idea of impossible and embrace their identity as a prized possession and not a hindrance.

K.W

As I write, I am in a state of pure euphoria. The last session of Recrear-Apply! was today and I am SOO proud of all the work  that all of us did together. It is 1.00 am and the Recrear-Beta team is working on a final report after an amazing evening.

Giving Mia bel Mia to this projects just feels right!

– GG