Language of hope

Lebanon (Beirut)

In the streets of Cairo, Casablanca and Beirut people speak a different Arabic to the classical language taught in universities and institutes. All across the Arabic speaking world, regional Ammiyyah dialects are how people communicate everyday. Language School NaTakallam, meaning ‘we speak’, offers classes of this spoken Arabic via Skype for just US$15 per hour. Its teachers are native speakers from Syria living in Lebanon, and they are refugees.

Lebanon has become home to about 1.2 million Syrian refugees and it’s estimated that almost all of those working in the country do so for low wages and in exploitative conditions. Taking advantage of the growing demand for Ammiyyah Arabic classes, NaTakallam is a way for refugees to support themselves and their families.

Set up in July 2015, there were initially just six teachers for around 25 students. Within a month 280 new students signed up, and more teachers are in the process of being trained. Quickly garnering recognition for its work, this small operation is taking its place in a community of voices thinking differently about how to support refugees.

Submitted by

Lauren Burrows, Writer/Researcher, Atlas of the Future (25 September 2015)

Project leader

Aline Sara, Reza Rahnema and Anthony Guerbidjian, Project Founders

Creative Commons License



Take me somewhere
Take me somewhere
Data Protection Act: LOPD.
In compliance with Organic Law 15/1999, of 13 of December, on Personal Data Protection, and the development of Rules of Procedure, approved by Royal Decree 1720/2007, of 21 of December, Atlas of the Future subscribers may be required to provide Personal Data, which will be included in a file owned by Democratising The Future Society SL. Such file is duly incorporated in the Spanish Data Protection Agency and protected in compliance with the security measures established in the applicable legislation. Subscribers may exercise, at any time, their rights of access, rectification, cancellation and/or opposition regarding their Personal Data. The subscriber shall notice their will, either under written form addressed to Democratising The Future Society SL, Ref. LOPD, Calabria, 10 6-3 08015 - Barcelona (Spain) and/or by e-mail, clicking here. Also, the subscriber shall communicate Atlas of the Future any modifications of their Personal Data stored, so that the information stored by Atlas of the Future remains at all times updated and error-free.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter