YES Programs



An Open Forum with Students from Gaza

Palestine  Uuca  Event2

YES students from Palestine (Gaza) with members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington.

On June 21, 2015, YES students who will soon be returning to their homes in Palestine (Gaza) were invited to attend services and meet with congregants at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (UUCA). Students were welcomed to participate in a discussion forum, where they had the opportunity to openly reflect on everything from their exchange experiences in the U.S., to the weather in Palestine, to the Palestinian and Israeli conflict.

The Palestinian/Israeli Task Force Group at UUCA hosted the event, facilitating a Q&A session with members of the congregation, including UUCA’s high school youth group. The students were happy to answer questions and engage with an audience of over 50 people; the group received a very warm welcome! Interactions continued after the forum concluded in order to promote understanding of Palestinian life and culture. The students were encouraged to share their love for American culture upon their return, while church members were encouraged to stay abreast of current events in Palestine, sharing what they learned from the students with others. Lifelong friendships were made – the true meaning of cultural connection. This was a very successful event- one of many to come!