This Startup is Giving Hope to Arabic Speaking Refugees

NaTakallam is a startup helping Arabic speaking refugees find jobs as Arabic tutors. It has a website that connects students worldwide with refugees who fled their war torn countries and are trying to rebuild their lifes elsewhere. They often struggle to find jobs in the countries where they are seeking Asylum or waiting on authorities to decide on their status.

NaTakallam cofounder, Aline Sara said her company helps “people who had just finished their degree or were in their mid-20s, late 20s working, and they lost everything because of the war. Now they find themselves as refugees in Lebanon, in Egypt, in Turkey, and in these places they are not even allowed to apply for a job.”

Abdurraheem Khaleel was a Palestinian refugee working in Syria as a dentist. When the Syrian revolution turned into civil war in the year 2012 he crossed the border into Lebanon and ended up on refugee camps not allowed to legally work in the country. In mid 2016 he moved to Brazil and was able to work as an Arabic tutor through NaTakallam’s website. He says “In Brazil, there are no camps, nothing. We arrive through the airport like normal people and we start our life. It’s a bit difficult, but at least you start a new life.”

Aline said that her company’s mission is about more than just providing a paycheck to refugees, it’s about human dignity. She says that “by hiring the refugee and giving them a job rather than aid, it’s dignifying, it’s exciting. It makes you feel very different than just being given a service or aid, as in the traditional sense of humanitarian existence.”

NaTakallam has been able to find jobs for more than 50 refugees in countries like Canada, Brazil, Germany, Italy, France, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Armenia and Jordan.