Thursday, October 30, 2014

YaLa Academy and the New Media and Citizen Journalists Program

The MENA Region

Inspiration has been a strong and valuable asset that I always welcomed. It helps me remember how big the world is and how big my responsibilities are. And that I believe is very important to make my life of use. I found in YaLa Academy the possibility to serve the passions that I hold close to my heart, and most importantly the inspiration that I just mentioned in this lovely introduction.

I feel I have always been connected to the issues that my generation is facing especially in the Middle East and North Africa, and to the ways I could find to interact with people from there and find innovative solutions to the different challenges of this region. It is true that many organizations and institutions are now focusing on what has been going on in the MENA countries, trying to support them overcome their problems, conflicts, fulfil their needs and use their resources to the very best.

The YaLa Academy is one of these networks that aim to bring people together and promote peace-building and conflict resolution through a number of projects and events. One of its most recent programs is the YaLa New Media and Citizen Journalists Program in which I am taking part. This initiative was launched to train a group of young activists from the MENA region and provide with the necessary skills to interact with each other making themselves better writers, storytellers, bloggers and peace-builders. The project focuses on practical skills of journalism, new media and active participation.

We are now in the second month of the program, and we have been very lucky to be given lectures by inspiring leaders and professors who were also able to answer the questions and the comments of the group members. I have to say it is absolutely incredible how such a simple initiative that has been conducted online can help us come up with creative ideas, inspiring stories and most of all, give us the opportunity to positively interact with each other, give feedback and defend the values that each one of us believes in. I believe in the great importance of empowering people, and that is why I believe in YaLa Academy.

The second assignment that was suggested to us was to write a piece about one of these topics: Identity, Peace-building, Social justice, Gender Issues or Culture and Tradition. I chose to write about Identity, inspired by my trip to Alaska.


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