We speak with Syrian refugees

Nader Diab

As of April 2018, it is estimated that more than 5.6 million refugees have fled Syria and more than 6 million people are displaced internally. Many of these refugees are well educated, experienced individuals. However, they face unemployment and lack of direction as they settle in a completely foreign environment.

NaTaKallam (“We Speak” in Arabic) connects language learners globally with displaced Syrian and Iraqi people over Skype to learn Arabic.

NaTaKallam Founder Aline Sara explains that the platform offers a “gainful income opportunity to displaced people who face restrictive labor policies in their country of resettlement.” Additional benefits include “creating conversations and bridging cultures today between countries, and between individuals who are far from conflict and those who live and breathe it.”

Natakallam provides a unique opportunity in an era of increasing division when the need to build community and enhance cultural understanding is critical. Sara stresses, “We want to show that refugees can contribute positively to society and should not be characterized as passive burdens dragging on public services.”

NaTakallam (“we speak” in Arabic) pairs Arabic-speaking displaced persons with learners around the world for language practice over Skype. The platform offers affordable, flexible, tailored Arabic practice with native speakers for language learners while also providing a valuable income source to displaced people mostly in Lebanon, but also in Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, France, Brazil, Italy and Germany.

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