ULYP 2019-2020 Annual Report

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Ten years Programs - Youth ages 16+ Programs - Youth ages 6+ Programs - Children ages 4+ Programs - Parents & Teachers ULYP Campus ULYP's Emergency Appeal The Next Ten Years Thank You Donors & Funders

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N E T rs

a e Y

On January 28, 2010, a dream became a reality when Unite Lebanon Youth Project (ULYP) was officially founded in Lebanon and registered as NGO 134 by Melek El Nimer. The founding board set the mission for ULYP, and two people joined the team to translate an ambitious mission into action. Ideas were put to the test on a very small scale in an effort to validate the feasibility, structure and initiatives envisioned. In parallel, scholarships available to Palestinian youth at different universities, which were left unmatched with students for years, were identified and ULYP started preparing students to take advantage of these opportunities. Fast forward ten years to January 28, 2020, and ULYP is managing ten programs, serving 2500 beneficiaries annually and matching students with around 100 scholarships per year. The office team has grown to 12 members and the field team now has 50 dedicated educators and coordinators on the ground. Over the years, ULYP has learned and grown from its successes, the challenges we have faced as well as a willingness to search for the best ways to serve children, youth and women from refugee and marginalized communities. We have been honored to receive recognition for our work with the 2016 Khalil Gibran ‘’Spirit of Humanity’’ Award for Institutional Excellence from the Arab American Institute Foundation and the 2017 Ta’atheer Award for Best NGO. Now, as we celebrate ten years of achievements, we also renew our promise to you as donors, partners, Board of Trustees, funders and most importantly our beneficiaries. Our promise is our mission: To empower the marginalized children, youth, and women living in Lebanon TODAY with the skills and knowledge they need to change and become active agents of change for a better tomorrow, without any discrimination. Our annual report this year is focused on expressing our gratitude to every person who has supported us in achieving our mission: to every volunteer and team member who helped actualize our vision; to every trustee who served on our Board; to every teacher and administrator who joined us to spread the joy of learning; to every individual and organization that believed in us and donated to support our mission; to every partner who welcomed our programs with open arms; and to every parent who trusted us and enrolled their children, and themselves, in our programs. The next pages shed light on ten programs that we have implemented and that represent ULYP’s impact. Some have received recognition, others have won competitions and all have been successful in changing lives. ULYP’s programs actualize the right to education by creating opportunities and giving equal access to quality educational programs to children, youth, and women in refugee and marginalized communities.




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BRIDGE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM Bridge is ULYP’s longest running program. This program literally bridges the gap for students, especially from Palestinian refugee communities, who have the will, but not the way, to pursue tertiary education. Bridge’s University Preparatory Course introduces students to opportunities in higher education and enhances their readiness to sit for standardized entrance tests like the SAT. Bridge’s Scholarship component aims to create a generation of confident individuals empowered with the necessary skills and knowledge to invest in themselves and to play an active role in the improvement of their own lives and that of their communities as a whole.

Through the Bridge program, ULYP identifies eligible Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian students, and matches them with scholarships in well-established

We thank... Every donor who made scholarships possible. Bridge students who never tire of giving back to

universities across Lebanon and all over the world. The program relies on funding solicited through

ULYP as volunteers

fundraising efforts and university partnerships. Meet

Bridge being selected as a "Good Practice" by the

some of our students and alumni by following

American University of Beirut (AUB) from a pool of


78 programs in the MENA region and globally in the area of skills development of Adolescent and Youth Programming. AUB’s inclusion of ULYP, currently the second largest scholarship program at the university, in its LEAD platform (Leadership, Equity And Diversity). In President Fadlo Khuri’s words, LEAD works “to develop a whole new cadre of AUB educated, world class scholars who are ready to impact society in a meaningful way, who will understand that fear of the other is an obstacle not an asset.”


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The Arab world now is encountering some of its roughest times in history. The Unite Lebanon Youth Project is keeping unprivileged young adults like us standing, and that is why I am extremely thankful to be one of these young adults to reach a point where I can serve my community and contribute to the health care systems in the Arab world using all the means I can explore. LAU Class of 2020 Faculty of Health Sciences -BS in Medical Laboratory Sciences "With Distinction.

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UPC Students Scholarships Host Universities Alumni Alumni with Post-Grad Funding from ULYP

BRIDGE ALUMNI SUPPORT ULYP follows up with its Bridge alumni and connects graduates with opportunities for employment and/or scholarships for further studies. Since 2018, ULYP has facilitated scholarships for a number of alumni to pursue post-graduate studies in different universities. The specializations targeted within this program were carefully selected to promote increased livelihood. The Bridge alumni program is managed by a ULYP alumnus who coordinates closely with five other ULYP alumni working in the Bridge program.

'You have taught us the true meaning of feeling with other people, and the willingness to help them in any possible way. I can't think of anything more precious than being given the opportunity to get an education, and I can't think of someone as honorable as someone who gives people that opportunity. Last week, I had the chance to visit a wind farm and climb a wind turbine for the first time in my life. I really wanted to share this moment with you, as it was full of pure happiness and gratitude to everyone who helped me get here.I always wanted to work in Renewables and I used to write many of my English essays about this. This is a dream that literally came true!!!' LAU Class of 2015 School of Engineering - Department of Mechanical Engineering

I was the fourth to ever graduate with high distinction from the Department of Architecture and Design at AUB with the highest GPA ranked among all. As for my achievements, I have won three awards; two of which were for the creativity and excellence of my final year project and one of which was based on a competition that I participated in. I tell you about them because I know how proud they make you, and how thankful they make me. It's been said that “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” and I believe that we also make a life by being thankful to those who offered us a better one. Architecture at AUB was not only an education but also a lifestyle that has taught me a lot of lessons. AUB Class of 2020, Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA)- Department of Architecture and Design

We thank... The spirit of generosity demonstrated by ULYP’s alumni who are giving back to the next generation of Bridge students by funding a scholarship for a future Bridge student. Partners and donors who provide financial and employment opportunities to alumni.


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‘Change starts with education’ is the slogan of this three-year-old program. True to its name, this program works with students from marginalized communities in Lebanon to help them create change in their lives. At inception, the program targeted 75 12th graders from the Syrian refugee community and worked with them for one year on English, life skills and university counseling. The first cohort excelled and these pioneers of the program are now at different universities and thriving. Since then, the program has expanded to include all nationalities and now runs for two years, targeting students who are passionate about changing their future and have the potential to improve their academics. Listen to a Change student by following THIS LINK

We thank... The Asfari Foundation and Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, who recognize that some youth lack the opportunity, but not the determination, to improve their lives.

The community partners who host the Change program at their schools, and in particular the unwavering support of the American University of Science and Technology to Change students and alumni.

The honor of receiving a 2019 Ockenden International Prize. ULYP submitted its first Change program for consideration, developed in partnership with the Asfari Foundation in 2018. According to Ockenden, “The judges said it won for its self-evident success rate educating isolated refugees, which will create a lasting legacy. The judges also felt that Change provides life skills, is transformative and should be a model project that can and should inspire other organizations with similar objectives.”






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The program gave me a new energy, and I was benefiting at the same time: studying for the Bacc II and acquiring a new language. All of this really helped me! Change is the best program I have ever seen, it gave me a lot of self-confidence and experiences with new people and new friends.

I now know that I have the power to It made me feel as I should make a change in this be respectful and it’s world. something that comes from within. No to bullying, accept others and help them. #Respect has been running for four years with a primary goal of preparing beneficiaries to be active agents of change. Similar to previously implemented one-time programs such as Frame-by- Frame, Harmony, RARE (Rights and Responsibilities Empowerment) and United by Environment, #Respect follows the methodology of creating active agents of change to spread messages of respect – respect of others, respect of different cultures, respect of the environment and respect of ourselves. Participants are empowered to spread these messages in their communities using peer-to-peer education and the short videos they develop. These programs directly serve ULYP’s purpose to propel a paradigm shift in Lebanon from a nation that is divided along religious, political, socio-economic, and ethnic lines to one where people can co-exist, unite, and work together for a better future.

We thank.. The brave participants who are willing to open themselves up to personal transformation and inspire their communities. The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, the European Union, UNICEF and the US Embassy Local Grants Program for sharing ULYP’s conviction that investing in youth pays off.




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Spreading Hope and Reviving Education targets high achieving Palestinian middle-school students living in and around the Shatila camp in Beirut. It is ULYP’s longestrunning program for this age group. The overall goal of SHARE is to contribute to the emotional and social wellbeing of these children, promote their leadership and resilience skills, confidence, motivation and pride in one’s culture through curricular and co-curricular sessions and cultural trips. Students grow with the program over four years. Engaging parents is key to SHARE’s success, and customized sessions are held throughout the program to develop skills for building a culture of learning at home.

I am ready to apply to the Bridge scholarship program. I am now sure of my skills using English and my self-confidence is better, thanks to all the lessons I learned at SHARE. We thank... The Beit Jiddi Foundation who singularly supported this program over the years. Community partners that welcome and engage our SHARE students in cultural and educational activities. The trust from each and every SHARE family and school that has allowed the program to become a constant in the community. ULYP

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Together Let’s Code opens up the world of computers to girls from different marginalized communities, ages 10-16. This program is the only single gender program that ULYP offers, developed to build the confidence of young female learners in their abilities to work with technology and dismiss the stereotype that this sector can only be led by males. TLCers become technologically literate, learning to code and create games and algorithms. Students also strengthen their confidence and creativity through customized life skills sessions. TLC introduces girls to the role of technology in different careers, provides them with strong female role models and empowers them to take charge of their futures.

We thank... The unique environment created at the TLC program that encourages mutual empowerment and celebrates creativity among young girls. Microsoft, Theirworld and UNICEF for committing to showing girls that coding is not just a boys club.

The combination of computing and life skills sessions in one program was amazing. I not only learned how to solve my problems, but also gained the confidence to code and learn about the filed of computing. I have gained the confidence to stand up and believe in my own abilities. ULYP

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Rainbow brings light and color to children ages 8-14 by engaging them in a well-rounded and rich program designed to build confidence, cultivate resilience, explore new horizons and stay in school. Rainbow achieves its goals by providing an intensive language program embedded with educational activities and cultural trips. Rainbow initially invested in the younger generation of refugees from Syria. With time, the program grew to include refugees from Palestine and marginalized Lebanese and is implemented in different centers and schools around the country that partner with ULYP, opening their spaces as satellites for Rainbow and welcoming its children and team.

We thank... The two donors who have supported this program over the years: one anonymous donor and the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund. The community partners that host the program in their centers and help us serve the most vulnerable. The unwavering enthusiasm for learning from our Rainbow students!


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As a refugee from Syria living in the Nabaa area, I felt so alone and so far from my community. The sessions you gave us in Rainbow helped me meet other mothers and learn so much about dealing with the abandonment issue my children and I are facing.

One day, after I improve my English here with the LIFE program, I want to become a teacher and teach children in the same nice and fun way the LIFE teachers teach me! Learn, Inspire, Focus, Engage is a program designed to support middle-school Palestinian refugees at risk of dropping out of UNRWA schools in Beirut. This program was inspired by the success of a one-time program Skills4Life, which served as the foundation of LIFE. The program includes customized life skills sessions, interactive and differentiated English classes and active engagement of the parents as partners in their children’s development. LIFE leverages education to change the way these children think about learning, scaffold their learning skills and ultimately motivate them to stay at school and succeed.

1200 STUDENTS We thank... Recognition by the Ockenden International Prize in 2018. Taawon Lebanon submitted the LIFE program for consideration, and the judges selected it as “a successful skills education program for the largely excluded Palestinian refugee community struggling – socially, politically and economically – in Lebanon. The willingness of the European Union and Taawon Lebanon to invest in the future of Palestinian students.


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In 2011, ULYP created the Healthy Alternative Program for Preschoolers & Youth for children ages 5-6 to address the lack of critical and creative thinking skills and weak English language foundations in this age group. HAPPY's main objective is to supplement early childhood education practices in marginalized communities. HAPPY considers children as active learners and engages the students in an interactive and immersive learning experience at the ULYP campus to teach English, math, science, decision-making, problem-solving and respect. HAPPY’s approach is holistic and sustainable, as it also trains parents and teachers who can then spread the impact to other children, ensuring a long-term impact from this short-term intervention.

We thank... The opportunity and joy of giving childhood back to children. The preschool teachers from participating schools who give their time, energy and heart to the program to learn and grow with their students.

The funders who prioritize early childhood education for the most vulnerable, such as Beit Jiddi Foundation, Taawon-Lebanon, UNICEF, United Palestinian Appeal and generous private donors.


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Children Parents Teachers Preschools

PARENTS & TEACHERS Since inception, ULYP recognized that to achieve our vision and mission requires more than just interventions with children and youth. Sustaining program impact by working with parents and teachers is just as important as the programs themselves. ULYP created the Most Outstanding Mothers program in 2011, and this idea quickly developed to incorporate Training of Teachers and parent sessions into ULYP’s children and youth programs in order to align the rhetoric between school and home and build a supportive structure. Parents become active partners in their children’s education, and teachers become equipped with new knowledge and tools to benefit all their students. By building the skills of teachers and parents in each community, ULYP has a far-reaching effect, indirectly impacting siblings at home and students at schools.

I was once someone’s daughter and then became someone’s mother. I was not ready, your sessions are teaching me a lot and I now understand my role as a mother better.

It is amazing to see my students in a different light: in my classroom, the students who are trouble makers are leaders in your sessions. Thank you for teaching me to think of my students differently.

We thank... The funders of the programs for believing in our commitment to sustaining change by working with the teachers and parents. Workshop facilitators who offer their time, expertise and passion to propel these communities forward. The Asfari Foundation for supporting the establishment of a customized workshop space at the ULYP office. ULYP

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ULYP CAMPUS We cannot express our gratitude for our programs without recognizing the value of ULYP’s Dibbiyeh campus and the support from donors over the years. ULYP programs are unique thanks to the educational and residential spaces the campus offers. Programs at the campus give participants access to open space and fresh air as is the right of every child. ULYP rents out its space to other organizations and NGOs to host their activities when ULYP programs are not active and generates some income to cover the maintenance of this beautiful space. ULYP is given access to the campus by the Nimer family in memory of the late Rifaat Nimer, an esteemed role model and caring philanthropist. The joy ULYP participants find in their time spent on campus honors his memory.

24,000m2 (24 Km south of Beirut) 3 fully equipped classrooms (including IT lab) 2 preschool classrooms & playground 40-person overnight accommodation 1 covered basketball court 1 swimming pool 1 active kitchen and event space Agricultural and recreational land We thank...

The Nimer family for imagining a Lebanon where all children have access to open space. Simone Kosremelli for transforming the Nimer farm to the ULYP campus pro-bono. The ability to improve the space and increase capacity for learning thanks to generous donors such as American Community School, American Women’s Club, Australian Embassy, Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development, Taawon Lebanon, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, UNICEF, United Palestinian Association and individuals. Community members who rent the space for private events as a means of supporting ULYP's income-generating effort. ULYP’s programs and mission. ULYP

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ULYP launched its Lebanon Emergency Appeal on August 6, 2020, 48 hours after the devastating explosion in the Beirut port that took the lives of over 200 innocent people, left 6,000 injured, caused full or partial damage to 80,000 homes and internally displaced 300,000 people displaced. The blast has irrevocably changed the lives of everyone living in Lebanon and ULYP could simply not stand idle. Through this appeal, and the support of its friends near and far, ULYP took an active role and became the angel NGO of the Bebw’shebbek initiative which was born in the immediate aftermath of the blast aiming to replace the doors and windows of 3,000 damaged homes. Bebw’shebbek, with the help of over 200 architects, carpenters, contractors, glazers painters, and volunteers has already repaired 600 homes and will continue working hard to bring people back into their homes as quickly and safely as possible. The target is to achieve 150 homes per month and offer a lifeline to the most vulnerable victims who would otherwise be unable to afford the cost of repairing their own homes. ULYP thanks each and every contributor to this appeal. To stay updated on the achievements of Bebw’shebbek, please visit their website https://www.bebwshebbek.org/


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Our vision is to follow through with the HAPPY children and secure funding for ULYP to offer them regular follow-up programs in grades 1-3 focusing on building their English language.

AGES 6-16

SHARE | TLC | RAINBOW | LIFE Our vision includes establishing an endowment for the Bridge program, establishing a path for Change graduates to access guaranteed funding for higher education and maintain #Respect as a core program to serve at least 50 youth per year.

AGES 16+

BRIDGE | CHANGE | #RESPECT Our vision is to grow these programs to reach a higher number of students, grow the radius of geographical areas we serve, continue refining the structure and methodologies of these programs to ensure they are research based and customized to meet the needs of the different participants and to put the alumni of these programs on the path towards leadership and university education. ULYP

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THANK YOU ORGANIZATIONS, CORPORATIONS, GOVERNMENTS & EMBASSIES Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund Al Jana Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts American Women's Club Americans for Children of the Middle East (ACME) Alumni Community Action Grant | Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development Asfari Foundation AUB Alumni, Dubai & Northern Emirates Chapter Australian Direct Aid Program Bank Audi Barakabits Bebw'shebbek Beirut Marathon Association Beit Jiddi Foundation Blue Rose Compass Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) Ciment de Sibline S.A.L. Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) CSC Bank S.A.L Culture and Science Foundation Dar Al-Handaseh Daughters for Life Foundation Debbs Foundation European Union (EU) Fidelity Assurance and Reinsurance Co. S.A.L. First National Bank S.A.L. (FNB) Future First & Youth Opportunities Programme (HSBC) Give a Child a Toy Hani Qaddumi Scholarship Foundation Huson Halabi Yassir Foundation INJAZ Lebanon Kiblawi Foundation Leonard Education Organization (LE.O) Liban Jaz Medgulf Microsoft – Youth Spark Middle East Airlines (MEA) Middle East Capital Group (MECG) Munib and Angela Masri Development Foundation Palestine Association for Children's Encouragement of Sports (PACES) Palestine International Institute Palestinian Student Fund (PSF) Pillar Invest Corp. Qatar Fund for Development Rifaat Nimer Foundation Royal Norwegian Embassy Ruwwad Al Tanmeya | Lebanon Salaam International Investment Ltd Saudi Bin Laden Group Social Support Society (SSS) Spark of Hope Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) Taawon | Lebanon Terre Des Hommes Italy The Big Heart Foundation The Creative Union The Hope Fund The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development The National Institution of Social Care & Vocational Training (Beyt Atfal Assumoud) The Omar and Rula Asali Foundation The Samih Alami Memorial Scholarship Fund for Students of Medicine at AUB Theirworld Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TiKA) U.S. Embassy Local Grants Program United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) United Palestinian Appeal (UPA) VIP Fund Waterman Foundation Worldwide Travel and Tourism S.A.L. Yayasan Khazanah ULYP

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THANK YOU INDIVIDUAL DONORS Abir & Usama Tuqan Aboul Jabine Family Abu Ghazaleh Family Ahmad Al Sari Ahmad Kailani Ahmed Ben-Halim & Abeer Alkuhaimi Ali & Lama Kolaghassi Ali Hassan Jamal Husseini Amal & Rima Hourani Amal Houri Anthony Baladi Ashraf Abu Issa Ayman Abu Ghazaleh Ayman Dweik Bassam Aburdene Bassem K. Al-Salem Dalal Hoballah Dina Chammah Dina Itani Kaddoura Dina Mehio Dr. & Mrs. Raja Asfour Dr. Ghassan Alami Dr. Ramzi Ata Dalloul Dr. Adnan Steitieh Faisal Alami Farag & Salwa Siyam Farah Ghandour Fawzi & Lili Farah Fuad Ali Fuad Bawarshi Funda Serifoglu Haleema Al Owais Hamid & Sawsan Jafar Hani & Syma Qattan Hania Bsat Huda el Nasif Huda Kitmitto Hussein Hadid Iffet Ozgonul Issa & Rana Abu Issa Karim Sawabini Katya Trabulsi Khaled B. Alami Khaled Miqdadi Lama Bitar Lama Koubrously Lana Dajani & Hathen Shehabi Leila Straus Lina Boubess Lina Dweik Lutof Qaddumi Maha Alami Maha Shakashir Maher Abu Ghazaleh Maria Bayezid Maureen Ali May Mikati Michael & Amani Dagher Mohammad Abu Assi Mohammad Amir Abu Ghazaleh Mohammed Abdul Jalil Al Fahim Mu'taz & Rada Sawwaf Muna Al Gurg Muna Ibrahim Mohammed Al Mousa Muna Taryam Munir Kaloti Nabil Soubra Nada al Awar Nakkash Family Nazira Sarraj ULYP

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Nimat and Omar Bizri Nour Al Nimer & Serge Jureidini Omar & Ghalia Qattan Oussama Glilah Oussama Salam Radwan & Ibtissam Alami Raeda Taha Rami & Rajaa Aslan Rami El Nimer Rana Koubrously Rana Sadik & Samer Younis Reema Chehabi Riad Kamal Rima & Youssef El Zein Roland Haraoui Rula Alami Said Zeid Kailani Salwa & Hassan Jabri Salwa Khoury Samar Abu el Jebain Samir Adel Aweida Samira & Mohammad Fakieh Selim Mouzannar Soumaya Abu Ghazaleh Suad Massi Suheir Assi Suzan & Najib Semaan Tamim & Lamis Sahli Tayseer Barakat Wajih & Adalat Nakkash Yusef & Lina Abu Khadra Zafer & Tonia Chaoui Zeynep Ozturk

UNIVERSITIES & SCHOOLS Acibadem University Ahliah School Ajman University American Community School Beirut (ACS) American University of Beirut (AUB) American University of Science and Technology (AUST) American University of Sharjah (AUS) Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University Bilgi University Bilkent University Carnegie Melon University in Qatar (CMUQ) Cyprus International University Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) European University of Lefke Girne American University Hamad bin Khalifa University Harvard College Children's Stories IE University Koc University Lebanese American University (LAU) Istanbul Medipol University Middle East Technical University Near East University (NEU) Rafik Hariri University (RHU) Sorbonne University Texas A&M University (TAMUQ) United World Colleges Lebanese National Committee (UWC) University of Balamand University of Kyrenia University of Malta Wellspring Learning Community Yeditepe University

THANK YOU OUR BOARD OF TRUSTEES Adalat Nakkash Elias Baz Hanna Nassar Melek El Nimer Mohammaed Mattar Rana Hadid Rula Alami Youssef El Zein Yusuf Kan'an


for the contribution towards the scholarship fund for new students.


for all the work and legal advice offered to ULYP pro-bono.


who opted to remain anonymous.


for your continued support.


who come from near and far to support us achieve our mission and the organizations that constantly collaborate with us to engage their volunteers in our work including but not limited to: Duke Engage Society for Austro-Arab Relations Lundt University Canadian Palestinian Student Exchange (CEPAL) Arab American Institute (AAI)


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