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The Tech Entrepreneur Turning Syrian Refugees into Virtual Teachers

Lebanese entrepreneur Aline Sara saw a gap in the market while hunting for Arabic conversation classes in the West. She connects highly skilled Syrian refugees with Arabic learners around the world, providing much-needed work for the teachers.

Written by Leila Molana-Allen Published on Read time Approx. 0 minutes

BEIRUT – With more than a million Syrian refugees living in Lebanon, and many struggling to survive financially, a Lebanese tech entrepreneur has come up with a novel solution: providing them with the opportunity to teach Arabic to students around the world via Skype.

Aline Sara founded NaTakkalam, which means “we speak” in Arabic, and has signed up more than 60 Syrians to teach. As many refugees are barred from working in their host countries, this offers a much-needed revenue stream. Along the way, students and their Syrian conversation partners engage in a powerful intercultural exchange, developing friendships across borders and changing people’s preconceptions about refugees.

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