Citizen journalism and online activism are critical to building a more peaceful Middle East where the young generation can interact, discuss and make their voices heard together.
In this light, in 2014 YaLa Young Leaders teamed up with the U.S. Institute of Peace to establish a ground-breaking new online citizen journalism program for the first group of 100 youth from all over the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The young online activists learned together how to effectively express themselves on the events and issues important to them. To showcase the pieces they have created, tell their stories, and express their fears and hopes, the participants have created together this YaLa Press platform. Building upon and scaling up this unique program, the Aileen Getty School of Citizen Journalism was inaugurated in 2015 to train and connect hundreds more young women and men from all over the region. For more information and to apply: www.yalaacademy.org/apply.
YaLa Young Leaders is an online, Facebook-based movement of young Middle Easterners leading their generation to a better future. With nearly one million members, it the broadest and fastest-growing Middle East peace movement today. Founded by the Peres Center for Peace and YaLa Palestine in May 2011, the movement’s flagship program is the YaLa Academy: the world’s first virtual campus that spans the entire MENA region, bringing together hundreds of Arab and Israeli students and activists to learn together from peace practitioners, academics and new media leaders from around the world.