What is YaLa?
YaLa Young Leaders is an online, Facebook-based movement of young Middle Easterners dedicated to leading their generation to a better future. YaLa Young Leaders is the broadest and fastest-growing Middle East peace movement today. Our nearly 1,000,000 members come from all across the MENA region, hailing from Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Qatar, among others. The movement focuses on dialogue and engagement as a means to securing a safe, productive, and peaceful region, capitalizing on the catalyzing power of social networks, media and technology (see our Declaration of Principles). It is a movement led by young adults, for young adults. Founded by Uri Savir in May 2011, the YaLa Young Leaders movement was co-created by the Peres Center for Peace and YaLa Palestine.
“YaLa was born out of a need and out of an opportunity. The need arose in the beginning of this century because of weak leadership, because of leadership that gave in to fundamentalism, to extremism, to terrorism, to violence. And the first to be sacrificed where the young people of the Middle East. Weak leaders, old leaders, sending young people to die. YaLa is there to send young people to live. The opportunity arose through the internet.
The internet created the opportunity to have hundreds of thousands in the Middle East dialogue with each other. Creating a common language, creating a community of coexistence, of normality, of sanity.”
— Uri Savir, Founder of YaLa Young Leaders and Co-Founder of Peres Center for Peace