Celebrating Education

 On July 25, ULYP held its fifth Celebration of Education for our Bridge graduates. ULYP class of 2019 broke the record with 32% of the 94 graduates completing degrees with distinction, high distinction or top of faculties.

With standing ovation, Ricardo Karam was this year’s keynote speaker whose words were inspirational to the students and audience at large: “Today, I want to talk to you about what time gives you in return: I want to talk to you about stories. Stories: the most precious things we carry with us – not just as individuals, but as communities, nations, and cultures…As I set out to tell my own story, I’ve realized that heroes and heroines didn’t always work under the spotlight. Many of them, in fact, work in silence. You are the heroes and heroines, you must tell your stories…The Arab world is thirsty for role models. We need people to make us believe that a brighter future awaits us. That we are still allowed to dream. As you build your own futures, you have the opportunity to build, along with them, the futures of every country.”

Two graduates then took the stage and addressed the audience of donors, board members and friends of ULYP with powerful and touching words:

“I believed in the mission that educating young women from the Middle East is the key to making it a better place to live. It was weird for people to accept that idea that a girl is traveling by herself to study abroad, and for what, trying to pursue a degree in the medical field and destroy her social life in the process… I wanted to change people’s perspective towards girls and women like me. Education has no limits! My gender or some oblivious social constraints should not be a cause for stopping me from fulfilling my dream.” Wardah Al Akrah, Manhattanville College BS Biology & BA Psychology (minor), Class of 2019

“I would like to congratulate my fellow graduates and friends on their success and ULYP on their continuous achievements… As a Palestinian girl, I was aware enough of the importance of education, and getting a degree was my purpose in life… the power of knowledge is the only way to survive and reach anywhere in this life, especially as a refugee… My motto in life is to never give up, believe in yourself, challenge yourself, and at the same time own your weaknesses as long as you are working on making weakness your strength. Finally, wherever the flow takes you, you will be fine as long as you have the will to reach.” Rama Al Hindi, LAU BBA Business Administration, Class of 2019

Thank you to our wonderful donors and to everyone who attended this ceremony. Without your contributions and support, this success could not be possible.



Breaking the Glass Ceiling

ULYP’s founder, Melek, was honored in Istanbul on the 10th of March for her work with underprivileged youth and for being a committed social activist. She was celebrated as an exemplary Turkish woman who ‘broke the glass ceiling’ at the Cam Tavani Delen Kadinlar Platform conference meeting. We are proud of our founder!

A Marathon Effort

What do First National Bank (FNB), American Community School at Beirut (ACS) and International College (IC) all have in common? They all ran for ULYP’s cause at the 2017 Beirut Marathon and helped make this year our most impactful to date!

Sunday 12 November witnessed 215 runners come together for ULYP’s cause at the Beirut Marathon. We want to express a huge thank you to everyone who ran for ULYP, our ACS and Bridge program volunteers who filled our cheering and water station with noise, encouragement and smiles, and FNB who sponsored our students to run. It was a truly inspiring day and one that will not be forgotten soon.

Join us for a Fundraising Play for ULYP

On September 28 and 29, ULYP invites you to the opening nights of the play ’36 Abbas St. Haifa’, which will take place at Masrah Al Madina Theater. In agreement with writer and performer Raeda Taha, the revenue collected from the tickets sold in the first two nights will be donated to ULYP. The donations will go towards ULYP’s ongoing and upcoming programs and scholarships. We thank Raeda for this and are very excited for the event!

The tickets are available online on the Antoine ticketing site and also sold at their outlets. If you wish to buy your tickets, click here.

Souad Massi Fundraising Concert

On March 5, Souad Massi and her band played in front of a packed-out Beirut Music Hall in aid of ULYP. This was the first time Souad Massi has performed to fundraise for ULYP and she did not disappoint. It was a beautiful show and fully enjoyed by everyone who attended. Our special thanks goes out to Souad Massi, and our sponsors Pillar Invest and CSC Bank SAL, and all the attendees, helping us raise over $40,000. These generous donations will go towards ULYP’s ongoing and upcoming programs and scholarships!

Photo by Joseph Khoury

The MOMs come back for more

This spring, a new partnership was created between ULYP and the Collective for Research & Training on Development – Action (CRTDA). Together, ULYP and CRTDA selected previous participants from ULYP’s Most Outstanding Mothers program (MOMs) to participate in different trainings, one of which was a four-day workshop in Jordan. A total of 35 women have engaged in this program so far, gaining leadership skills and knowledge. In Jordan, the women participated in one of four workshops on starting businesses in industries of dairy, catering, jam making, and flower growing.Picture CRTDA1 Picture CRTDA2.jpg



ULYP Goes Golfing

At ULYP, we follow the win-win rule of thumb for our fundraising events: our guests benefit from the activity and ULYP programs benefit from the support.  This year, and for the first time, but surely not the last time, ULYP partnered with the Golf Club of Lebanon and a golf tournament was held on May 8.  More than 70 golfers signed up for the tournament. The players and their families gathered for coffee and breakfast offered by the Golf Club and at exactly 9 a.m. the game started. Once concluded, everyone walked over to the lunch area and enjoyed a superb lunch offered by the Mayrig restaurant. The Golf Club committee quickly calculated the results and these were announced. The team who came in second place received trophies and the winners received tickets for four to Turkey offered by Nakhal Travel. ULYP thanked the players, Mayrig, Nakhal, and the sponsors including Jammal Trust bank. ULYP also thanked Future TV for publicising the event and hosting ULYP and the Golf Club on their show to raise awareness.

Stay tuned for the 2017 Golf tournament!

Picture GOLF



Thank you friends of ULYP in Dubai

On June 15, Melek and Nicole returned to Dubai to meet with friends of ULYP there. Mrs. Sawsan Jafar and Mrs. Adalat Nakkash gathered around 100 friends in the lovely Imm Sherif restaurant. Melek and Nicole updated everyone on the ULYP achievements and growth, and enjoyed a wonderful Iftar together. Thank you friends of ULYP, Dubai. Thank you Sawsan and Adalat.


ULYP Celebrating Education Event – July 9, 2016

With the slogan “the future starts now”, ULYP held its second annual celebrating education event on July 9, 2016. This is an event that we launched last year with the word imagine: imagine having the students who graduated from universities on full or partial scholarships facilitated by ULYP on our campus to be recognized and celebrated. Then we moved from the realm of dreams to the realm of reality, and held that event in 2015 ending with a promise to make it an annual one.

This year, we celebrated the ULYP class of 2016 comprised of 93 graduates, 14 from universities abroad and 79 in Lebanon. More than a quarter of the graduates, 24 to be exact, graduated with distinction (GPA 3.5 and higher) and 7 of them with high distinction (GPA 3.8 and higher). Amongst the ULYP class of 2016 are degrees in engineering, social work, environmental health, hospitality and tourism, nursing, nutrition, business administration, psychology, medicine, architecture, communication arts, chemistry, economics, biology, medical lab, marketing, pharmacy, and math.

The event was full of pride, smiles, and tears of joy. The program included two keynote speeches: the first from Dr. Hiam Sakr, president of the American University for Scienceand Technology, followed by the Turkish Ambassador to Lebanon, His Excellency Mr. Çağatay Erciyes. The program also included the distribution of two awards: the Giving Back to the community award granted to students who volunteered at ULYP in different positions while pursuing their education, and the Abu-Haydar Honor Society award for students who graduated with high distinction. The class representative, Hussein Mirii, spoke on behalf of the class and shared his experience since 2010. We share with you excerpts from his speech in this issue. Picture Graduation


Save the date: Sunday October 2, 2016, is ULYP concert night!

Souad Massi and her band will be performing at the Music Hall seaside venue for ULYP. We will be communicating about this very soon. For now, please save the date!

Until then, we are looking for sponsors in the categories of $10,000, $5,000 and $1,000.  We are preparing the sponsorship packages, which will include the publicity, free tickets, and visibility options. If you are interested in fully or partially sponsoring this concert to help us reduce the cost and increase the benefits for our programs, please contact us at ulypoffice@unitelebanonyouth.org.