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A Collection of Students’ Writing and Photography Pieces Written By: Students who participated in Reef to Rainforest Trip Collected By: Nejat Kedir

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YALLAH: Reef to Rainforest A Collection of Students’ Writing and Photographic Pieces June 27, 2012 – July 9, 2012

Before I tell you about what you are going to see in this “book”, I want to say few humble words and a few thanks. I would like to thank the Qatar Foundation International (QFI) for believing in us: the youth who went on the trip Reef to Rainforest to Costa Rica to learn about the spectacular beauty and urgent and pressing challenges of our planet’s ecosystems in one of the most unique and extraordinary places. Thank you QFI l for investing in us and our education unconditionally. This is a collection of stories that is often not told about the individuals that make up the Youth Allied to lead learn and help (YALLAH) community. These stories are from students who have be participated in the 2012 Yallah trip to Washington DC and eventually to Costa Rica. Most of the work that you will be seeing is photographic pieces and writings responding to the prompt “About Me”. I hope you enjoy this. Best, Nejat Kedir

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Acknowledgment

As a student and alumni of Qatar Foundation International I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the staff of QFI who have organized this trip to DC and Costa Rica and past trips. I am drowning in the sea of gratitude for all QFI has done for me and I am sure my peers feel the same way. On behalf of the students who participated in this trip and on the behalf of QFI staff I would like to say thank you to Country day school for allowing us to use the facility. I would also like to say thank you to all the staff of Country Day school who helped us make our stay in Costa Rica amazing. A special thank you goes out to Mr. Dan Baldwin, Mrs. Kimberley Baldwin: one of the most enthusiastic and warm people I have ever met when it comes to teaching and carrying for their students. Your passion and enthusiasm has helped us stay focused and get a lot more out of this trip. I would like to say another thank you to Marguerite and Walter for being an awesome tour guides and informing us about the local culture. Another big thank you goes to Anncosta Water shed society in Washington D.C for teaching us through application on the challenges of keeping the Ancosta River clean and healthy for the public. I have learned more on the couple of hours we spent on the river about waterways pollution than I have in my classrooms.

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One of the Several different hikes that we did during the trip. This picture was taken at Volcano Rinco de la Vieja in Guanacaste

The girls getting ready to hike at Guadamuz place a launching point to the Tamarindo estuary in Gunacaste. 5


Tasnim Salama

A Doctor in the Making Sara, our neighbor’s youngest daughter, was terrified of the blood that was coming out of her mouth. When I saw her after returning home from my school, she asked me not to leave her alone since she was so horrified. She was sitting in her home alone after her mother had left to pick up her eldest sister from school. Her mother did not take her, because she was sick after doing a tonsillectomy operation. I realized how bad of a situation she was in, so I took her right away to our neighbor Dr. Majid, who is an emergency doctor. He brought ice cubes for Sara to stop the bleeding until the ambulance arrived, but it took the ambulance half an hour to get to his house even though the hospital is not far away. Dr. Majid called again. The emergency team apologized because of the formal procedures that must be taken before the ambulance leaves the hospital. Dr. Majid decided to take Sara to the hospital using his own car. On our way to the hospital, policemen stopped Dr. Majid for running traffic lights. But once they found out his reason, they facilitated the traffic to move more easily for him. Upon arrival, Dr. Majid went to bring the stretcher. Sara started to lose consciousness and her lips turned to blue. I gave her my scarf as her body was shivering, and I supported her emotionally until her mother arrived. What was surprising and frustrating was that we were told that the doctors had just finished their shift and that we must wait for the next shift of doctors. Dr. Majid pleaded them to save Sara’s life; otherwise he would call the police. Her mother was consumed with feelings of blame, and anguish. A few minutes later, one of the doctors took Sara immediately to the operating room. One hour later, the doctor informed us that the tonsillectomy operation she had three days ago was not done properly. As a result, she was on the brink of death and what saved her was my efforts of rescuing her immediately.

That day we saved Sarah, Dr. Majid was supposed to be resting and spending his time with his family, since he had just returned home from his night shift as an emergency doctor. But Dr. Majid didn’t care about getting some sleep. Dr. Majid didn’t care about the big fines he would have to pay for running traffic lights. Nothing mattered at that moment except Sara’s life. He wanted to save Sara’s life, period. 6


That day we saved Sarah was my also birthday, and I was planning on celebrating it with my friends and family, but I ended up spending the whole day in the hospital. But that night, I learned some important lessons: to put others before myself and to be compassionate towards people who need my help. I was reminded to cooperate, support, and make scarifies for others, helping those in need, without any ifs, ands, or buts, just like Dr. Majid and the policemen did. I also became a firm believer that our existing rigid systems must be destroyed. We need to relax the laws so that sending emergency vehicles wouldn’t take so long. We need to change rules about doctors’ shifts, so there are always doctors available to help. We also need to provide health awareness sessions to our community. Our hospital system has to be built on compassion and helping others.

Marwa Yahya

Who Am I? I am honest. A women who stands for the truth and truth only. A young beautiful women who loves taking risks and being independent. I'm talkative, impatient, nervous and high-strung. I hate watching injustice and abuse in front of me while I keep standing; I have to strive to do the right thing. I like getting whatever I want by my own efforts. I love writing, because I get to express my feelings and opinions without any fights or opposition. When I write, it is just me and the paper. When I write, I feel a great sense of relief like I am free. Over the past 20 years, a growing body of literature has demonstrated the beneficial effects that writing about traumatic or stressful events has on physical and emotional health. In the first study on expressive writing (Pennebaker & Beall, 1986), college students wrote for 15 minutes over four consecutive days about “the most traumatic or upsetting experiences” of their entire lives. Participants who wrote about their deepest thoughts and feelings reported significant benefits in both objectively-assessed and self-reported physical health four months late.

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I often put others before myself, so I can know how they would feel if they were in my place.I love trying new things, and I rarely care about people's opinions when making my own decisions. I believe that I am the one who lives my life, not others, so I make the decision, not others. I'm very interested in and fascinated by politics. I love discussing big political events of our time like Arab revolutions and the Palestine case, and I believe that if I am standing for justice, Allah (God) won't let me down and will reward me in this life and the hereafter. When I purposefully look into the mirror, I know what I see isn’t what others see. A random glance at my reflection or a candid photo lets me say, "Here I am." I think of myself as solid, average weight and height, smiling and pleasant. I thought I was the risk-taker, the friendly listener. When I do catch the real me in the mirror, I see the critic, the thinker, someone stronger and more powerful and more ambitious, but I need to work on my ambitiousness. I once read a book called How They Became Great. Actually, I had to read that book in school for an exam. I never loved reading books until I read this book; it talked about a lot of great people who became great even though they had the worst circumstances that anyone can have. After I read this book, I honestly began to make some plans: I cleared my vision in this life and my choice for what I am going to study. I believe that people who achieve their goals are not normal people, because they don't think in a normal way like others do; they think that they want to make something happen, no matter what. Many people impressed me in that book, such as Muhammed al- fateh, the seventh sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Muhammed was brought up under the supervision of his father, Sultan Murad II, the sixth Ottoman Sultan. Muhammed owned his ambitions and managed the conquest of Constantinople. He managed to realize his dreams through hard, continuous work, and wellorganized planning. For example, before besieging Constantinople, he prepared for the war by making cannons, preparing his fleet, and making use of all the factors that might render him victorious. Because of his high ambitions and his faith in God, his dream came true. He was just 21 or 23 years old, which made him one of the greatest Muslim heroes and conquerors. Also, another great character I read about is Erik Weihenmayer, an accomplished climber, who became the only blind man in history to reach the summit of the world's highest peak, Mount Everest, on May 25, 2001. Erik spoke to audiences on harnessing the power of adversity, the importance of a strong “rope team,� and the daily struggle to pursue your dreams. Clearly, Erik's accomplishments show that one does not have to have perfect eyesight to have an extraordinary vision. I want to mention that the dangers of Mt. Everest are fatal: frostbite is one of the most common dangers, which normally happens from not keeping hands or feet warm enough. The frostbite will make the body part turn to a blackish blue color. If the

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frostbite goes too far without being treated, the body part that has it will probably have to be amputated. My point from these stories is after I read this book I felt that I should create my own goal and try my best to achieve it. Your goal will be better and greater if it is for helping others, and remember dreams without plans are only wishes.

Pricila Carmona

That’s Too Much “The only truth is that I live. Honestly, I do. Who am I? Well, that’s too much...” Clarice Lispector said it, and I felt that I should use it to describe me. As a matter of fact, I won’t describe myself, exactly… As an addict for math (and, at the same time, an addict for languages), I have spent a lot of time thinking of something logical that could perfect the definition of “me,” and as a perfectionist, I’ve become frustrated once I’ve realized it would never be enough. Then I hope you consider my efforts enough to understand, at least, a part of it. Here’s a list of parts that make me who I am: First, as I said, I’m addicted to math. Numbers, numbers, numbers. I’m like this, because math has an incredible connection to languages and to life itself. To learn math, you must understand details, connect them, put it in a logical way, analyze them, and finally, use them to answer the questions you made (we always have questions, don't we?). That’s how life works too… However, life has literature to change it, partly. It makes all the difference. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not so logical, methodical, or similar to these adjectives… That’s too much math for me! Due to the moment when I fell in love with literature (when I was younger, like 3 years old), and since then, this passion has become an enormous part of who I am too. I am my books (the ones I own that were written by someone else and the ones I wrote), the books I read, the books I intend to read, the books I don’t intend to read but will certainly do so, the books I’d never read. Books fill me up with a certain joy which I can’t translate. Clarice Lispector, Simone de Beauvoir, Anne Rice, Machado de Assis, Gabriel García Márquez, Joumana Haddad... All of them had a specific importance for me. The way I write, adjectives that I use, the way I know myself (at least a part of my personality was understood 9


by me while reading books), and even the gifts I receive when it’s my birthday (books, of course). Each and every part of my house, for example, has a piece of writing by a writer I love fixed to the walls. Entire poems everywhere to let me know that literature is everywhere too. My friends, my family, people I love in general… They taught me things I’ll never forget, of course. I try to protect them, to help them, to show them all my respect and love… Another good part: I love hugs and, once I like someone, once I’m his/her friend, I won’t hesitate to show it clearly. Telling my usual nerdy jokes, listening, and most of all, trying to understand them. I hope I do it well. My routine can be defined using one verb: study. The normal high school: the technical course (Multimedia), Arabic, English, Spanish… Courses, tests, efforts to build a solid career are parts of me too. As Ibrahim, my teacher, would say, I’m addicted to tests! It isn’t a joke, I guess. And (I’m still guessing what is true and what is not) I’m in love with studying, learning, knowing. Every day, I find some time to relax, and when I do it, it’s the perfect opportunity to do other things that I love: then, I listen to heavy metal, tango, MPB (Brazilian popular music), and I occasionally mix them all. And I love French music, Italian music, music from the Middle East. I love music and can’t live without it. I’m in love with politics, too. I’m always reading about it, talking about it, searching for news about it and historical facts about it. By the way, I’m a feminist. One of the last things you all must know about me is what I intend to do in the future: communicate. Since I started learning Arabic, I’ve been in love with the people I met thanks to the language. Like a spotlight, I realized that I wanted to go to the Middle East and meet them. Palestinian people, Qatari people… All of them. The lights of Doha, the time I spent there (thanks to BibliASPA and QFI), the friendships I built, the hijabs… That was the moment when I finally understood what I wanted, who I was, who I wanted to be. “Epiphany,” perhaps, is the word to describe that feeling which is still alive. Journalism and Languages, then, are my definitions for career and professional goals.

Ahmed Al Thani

Photography; An Agent of Change to Society There are many ways to change the community either positively or negatively by using photography. There are a couple of famous artists that have changed billions of lives by using photographs and by being realistic toward maintaining a better life. According to the Internet, photography is important, yet it captures all aspects of beauty in life. Pictures are a way that families and friends recollect their past events, and sometimes it can be tough, and sometimes 10


it can be a funny picture; today I will tell you about how photography has the power to change communities in a positive way and make a remarkable impact in many people’s lives. Firstly, I would like to define what a community is, as it will be a continuously stated term throughout this paper. A community is a place that supports the people who live there. In my opinion, photography is the world's most popular hobby, and it is one of the most important hobbies. We use it to document family milestones, capture beauty, reveal the ugliness of war, stalk celebrities, and sometimes make fun of our friends. Photography has changed the world way more than any other thing in the media, because photography is used in film and television. Our world no longer has its focus on words and paintings, but now it is focused on photography. Photography has completely changed how we perceive ourselves and the world. It can change our lives through advertisements which we commonly see during a break in a movie theater or our televisions at home; it can completely change our minds through something, and make us against our own selves; it can either leave a positive remark or a negative one. How can photography change and make a good impact in our community? Here is an example: imagine that there is a Qatari child going out with his parents to a Toys”R”Us store in Doha. Toys”R”Us contains toys which cost well over 4,000QR, and this child saved money and finally bought one toy which he chose. The child loved the toy, he stroked it, and even slept with it. However, one day, he broke it while throwing it to his friend. Where did all the 4,0000QR go to? It just went to waste. That 4,000QR, if spent in a charitable way, could have helped lots of people who are in need of assistance. A picture can speak 1,000 words, but only a select few say something touching enough to electrify an entire society. Many photographs screamed so loudly that the entire world stopped to take notice. However, a photograph doesn’t have to be sad, or have to do something with war; a photograph can be a picture of a willow sitting near a lake with its leaves limping from side to side; it can be a humorous picture or a romantic one. War or labor is not only what can change a community; a picture too has the power to change a community.

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Reem Abdul Moneim Zida

I BELIEVE Who am I? Am’ma tell you now I can either be a friend or a foe... I can’t really describe myself or I maybe just don’t know my vocab is actually good but the adjectives don’t flow... I believe in fate and having a best mate I believe in those fairytales and that to succeed you’ll have a lot of fails... I believe that it’s your choice, the road you take whether reaching your goal was a tough task or a piece of cake I believe the road you take might seem tough and dark but in the end you'll leave your mark I believe that maybe I am bad at calculus or even have a short temper but I forgive easily and in 30 minutes, I might even not remember I believe that my weaknesses might sometimes bring me down but when it comes to making fun of them, I am probably the clown I believe I'm really curious when, about something, I don’t have a clue so I work on finding it out, myself to the chair I’d glue If this is not getting to know me, then I don’t know what else I would do

Carlos Sanchez

COMPOSED The one who has always needed them, The one who praised them for the most miniscule accomplishments, The one who applies what they taught in everything he does, They compose a son. The one who stands by your side, The one who knows what's wrong when everything seems right, 12


The one who will remain when the parents will not, They compose a brother. The one who shares your laughter, The one who feels your pain, The one who was there for the scabs and scars, They compose a friend. The one who inquires, The one who solves problems, The one who works with diligence, They compose a scholar. The one who takes risks, The one who knows the unknown, The one who searches for more They compose an adventurer. The one who explores the body, The one who listens to all the sounds, The one who creates with the mind, They compose an artist. The one who connects across waters, The one who pushes for peace, The one who works for a better tomorrow, They compose a cosmopolitan. The cosmopolitan, The artist, The adventurer, The scholar, The friend, The brother, The son. The composer.

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Seif Bassam Al Tahtamouni

Who am I ? Simply Seif or Simply awesome I am Seif Bassam Al Tahtamouni. I like to meet new people and spend time with friends. I like to spend the time talking about new things we have learned or sharing knowledge of certain things. I believe in hard work and commitment as a means to success. As a human being, my strengths are my willingness to learn new things and help people when they need help. The areas I struggle with are when I sometimes leave some work to the last minute. I sometimes struggle with keeping my room tidy but I am trying to improve this. I also struggle with waking up early during weekends! I would like to know more about how we can make our environment healthier and safer to live in. Hussam Mohammed

Who Am I ? an ambitious leader When it comes to who am I, here I have to confess: this is the most unanswerable question I had ever faced! However, I'm Hussam Mohammed, the 17 years old Egyptian guy, 11 grader who has been training in Doha Equestrian Club for the last two years till this day. I used to play in Al-arabi Sports Club soccer team for two years, as well as swim team, Alahlyy Club, judo, and tae kwon do, so I'm a sports-aholic person! Voice Of YOUth Community Service Club [VOY] played an essential role in my life, since I am one of the administration members. In VOY we do our best to attract youth to our club and here's the challenge itself: combining fun with community service and having new positive friends in our program. All that I can say is, “WAIT FOR VOY! My older brother has been supportive of me. He taught me website developing and making advanced Photoshop designs. Now I do my t-shirt designs myself. I can’t live without my hot chocolate; kill me but don't take my hot chocolate away from me. 14


Jason Dunn

Who Am I? An Array of Treble Clefs My name is Jason Dunn, and I am 17 years old. I am a caring yet still aggressive person. I am me because I have a heart for people. I am honestly dedicating my life to help those who cannot help themselves, specifically those affected by violence. I believe in everyone having an equal chance at life, and it shouldn’t be hindered because of the recklessness of others. My strengths as a human being include being a hard worker and being dedicated. I feel that I struggle with impatience when working on tasks. I don’t give up on tasks when I am impatient, but I may do things differently to speed up the process if it is dragging. I would like to know what I can do to become a better leader and supporter of others. I chose to use to represent myself is an array of treble clefs. I chose this because I love music, and I feel that it is always around us. I often make beats at home on the kitchen counter when the fan over the stove is on. I am particularly fond of percussion. This is what my musical background is based on. Music has been a huge part of my life since I was about 7 or 8. My parents bought me a practice pad, because I used to beat on the ground in our living room. My parents then decided to have me start lessons when I was around 11 or 12 years old. The one thing I regret is that I didn’t continue to pursue it the way that I should have. Despite this, music is still something that defines me.

Tomader Al Kobaise

Who Am I ? The way I was raised, the place I lived in, the education that I received, the culture I was exposed to, life issues I faced and overcame matter to me. All of these factors strengthened me to face what has yet to come; these factors help me in the process of sculpturing myself. I will never forget 15


those who were there for me when I needed them, people who helped me to reach what I had been aiming for. I try and will try hard to pay them back. I love to explore life to its fullest but that doesn’t mean getting rid of my Muslim identity and Islamic principles because they are an integral a part of me. I was raised to be humble. A lot of people interpret my silence as arrogance which makes me upset. How can they judge me without knowing me? I am quiet when I can’t fit in with the people around me due to my lack of interest in what they are discussing. I can’t seem to find what pulls or attracts me into talking to them and most of the time I drown in my dreams so there is no way to interrupt me from the illusions that I am living.

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Reflection on the Trip These are pieces from the post-trip debrief students had on YALLAH. I just want to highlight the role that YALLAH has played in the exchange of cultures between students before the trip and after the trip. This is the case for the Reef to Rainforest trip and other trips of the past. There aren’t a lot of forums out there that bring global youth leaders from different cultures around the world to the discussion table on important issues. YALLAH is truly awesome and myself and the participants of YALLAH could testify to that. .

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Jessica Venture, Washington DC, USA The most memorable part of the trip was the boat ride where we all danced to different types of music like Latin music, Arab music, and even American music. I thought that was one of the funniest days of my life. And also a very memorable experience for me was just getting to meet/know everyone. Who knew that only spending like 12 days together we'd grow to be so close? I miss everyone that went on this trip. If I could rewind time I would. I think what I learned from this trip is that you shouldn't let fear get in the way of anything. I'm extremely afraid of heights but I still did zip lining and caving. I cried, but I got through it and I guess I learned that I can do anything if I put my mind to it and also with the support of good people! I would have never done any of that if it wasn't for the push all of you gave me!

Hamad Ahmed Abdulla,Doha Qata The memorable experience was the hiking with the following group me, Devonte ,Gabe ,Anna,Tim,JadaI learned that giving up doesn't always mean your weak sometimes it means your too strong to let go, always keep looking forward and have no fear

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Devonta Dickey, Chicago USA The most memorable experience I had during the trip was the first day in Costa Rica when everyone played Frisbee and soccer (football) in the rain. I felt like that was the perfect way to break the ice with the people that I didn’t meet in D.C. That experience was also a great way to connect everyone together before we actually began our 8-day trip in such a foreign country. After the returning home from such an awesome trip, I learn how to gain the courage to interact with new people. When I am around new people, I am generally quiet and conservative, but I learned how to take that leap of faith and break the ice with others. I learned that once you break the ice with strangers, you can grow forever lasting bonds with them and begin loving them like a family.

Beleicia Bullock, Washington DC, West Virginia Everyday was pretty awesome, but if I had to choose a day it would be the day where we had a choice to go hiking or to the beach. I chose to go to the beach and I had a chance to get to know people that I hadn’t taken a time to talk. I had a lot of fun doing various activities such as swimming. Now that I reflect on the trip two things stand out to me: one is how quickly we bonded and the second thing is how much of an impact my peers had on me. I have traveled with my peers before but because we didn’t keep in touch with each other after the trip it had less of an impact on me. When we were heading to the airport I knew everyone and I was in tears. I am truly grateful for all the things QFI had done for me. This was truly a great experience. 19


Nazeeha Khan, Hawaii USA The most memorable thing for me was trying new and risky things with a group of (then) strangers and seeing how all those activities brought us so much closer to one another. We all had the same fears, worries, and eagerness. I couldn't have imagined being with a better group. Honestly. After returning home I've learned that I'm not just the quiet, safe girl I used to be. There were more layers to me than I could have imagined. I realized how tired I was being afraid of everything and that I was letting it all hold me back from really understanding people and life in general.

Jada Beasley Chicago USA Most memorable: EVERY DAY! We did so many cool things while on this trip and every day we were able to push ourselves to do things most of us have never done. We also had the opportunity to get closer with each other every day and learn more about each other. Learned: I learned that hiking is hard! On a serious note I did learn that there are so many cool and exciting things out there in the world that you can't experience unless you go out and explore. I learned so many things on this trip that I would have would have NEVER learned in Chicago and I thank QFI for that

Mohammed Subhi Doha Qatar What was the most memorable experience that you had during the trip? Surfing and surfing again!! What did you learn after returning home from this innovative trip? I learned to always try new things even if i have fear for it. Keep going and try your best.

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Asia Lee and Nejat Kedir, Chicago and Seattle USA

Asia: The most memorable experience was the entire last day because everyone got to interact with one another during the activities as well as the dinner. I found it amazing how a group of strangers could just get together and have so much fun with such a positive vibe. From this trip, I learned what I am capable of doing. I've never even imagined myself jumping into the ocean or holding a snake or surfing or hiking through forests or even walking across bridges for fun. I faced a lot of fears this trip, showing me just how adventurous and open minded I can be. Thanks QFI!!! You all are amazing! Nejat : The most memorable experience for me was snorkeling because I really pushed myself to do something that I have always been afraid of. It was amazing to have the support of my peers and staff members. I have learned a lot during this trip. It was a time of growth in all aspects. I learned about alternative energy such as solar energy, and geothermal energy. I have learned about the mangroves and different ecosystems across the board. The title of this trip is “Reef to Rainforest� and we really have studied ecosystems ranging from the coral reefs to the Costa Rican rainforest and everything in between. Liam Walsh Boston USA The Costa Rica Reef to Rainforest trip was amazing. Thank you so much to QFI for bringing us all together. One of the most memorable parts of the trip was all of you. I am honored to have met and gotten to know so many great people on this trip. I

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learned to conquer my fears and really appreciate what was happening around me even if it was not my favorite thing to do.

To the right: Ahmed Alfateh Ahmed from Wakra, Qatar

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Mohammed At-Thani, Doha Qatar

Jessica Martinez Boston Mass. USA

Right to left Tim Silva from Chicago and Carson Haunt form Portland Oregon. To the left Maryam Al – Hassan from Chicago USA and Livia from Sao Paulo Brazil

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Mohammed Obaidan Doha Qatar

Wai Sze Chu Seattle USA

First for from left to right :Gabe from Boston , Julander AL-Shukaili Doha Qatar , Next page: group pictures by team starting from left to the right on the first row Ahmed, Julander, Devonta, Belicia Annan Gabe, intern Noura and Arabic teacher Mr. PorcellThe next group : Mr. Ednan,student Carlos, Wai,intern Mohammed, and Mohammed Obadani, Jada, Thomader, Hussam and QFI staff Denise

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Teams In Washington DC students were put in groups for the final project of this trip which was to make a video, audio or picture to teach others about an environmental issue that the group is passionate about

,

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Our Incredible Team of Teachers, Chaperons and Interns

Nasser A. Al-Khori QFI staff, (QLA)

Mr Ednana teacher from Qatar Leadership Academy

Chaperons Darielle from Seattle and Stacy from Boston , to the right Ms.Shadda from Doha and Below intern Noura Aljurdi

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Thank you QFI staff, teachers, Country Day school staff , and interns for your time, energy, unconditional love and commitment. You truly have made a difference in my life and in my peer’s life. Names of individuals from previous page on the top left hand corner Ms. Asma from Doha, Qatar Dennise from Portland, Mr.Porchally, Lobna from Washington DC and Kasia from Doha Qatar The next row, QFI staff members Jessica and Kimberly Williamson, from Washington DC across Pablo and Ibrahim from Brazil . In the last row we have our Photographic camp instructor Jay Kinghorn from Washington DC and intern Mohammed from Doha, Qatar

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Nejat Kedir Few Words I just want to say thank you to QFI for everything. I am really grateful to have been part of such an exciting trip. I have enjoyed every single aspect of this trip. I have learned a lot about the world, people and their cultures. But most importantly I have learned valuable lessons on the pressing issues of our environment and alternative energy sources such as geothermal power sources. I will always cherish the people I met and the things I learned during this trip. I will always miss the people that I met during this trip but, “Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them but you know that they are there.� Unknown.

Credits 90% of the pictures that are in this book belong to students who went on this trip as well as to the QFI staff. All the stories are written by the students. Please understand that English is not the first language of most of these students. All what I did was collect the stories and edit minor grammatical and spelling errors and put them together. I had a lot of support and help from my best friend and mentor Jessica Chin.

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Updated Reef to Rainfirest