Aline Sara is the co-founder and CEO of NaTakallam which is a social entreprise that 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.
Her inspiration behind her idea, she explains was:”I realized that Syrian refugees had a skill I had struggled to master having been raised overseas: Arabic fluency. Before the war, Damascus was among the most reputable destinations for learning Arabic. With so many refugees using smartphones as a lifeline, I also saw that displaced Syrians were ideally placed to leverage their sought-after skills in the growing gig economy.”
Before founding NaTakallam, Aline used to be a journalist for NOWLebanon and was also a contributing writer for the Women’s International Perspective. In 2013, she worked with the United Nations in Ivory Coast as a researcher. Up until 2014, she was a researcher for WITNESS, an observer at the Carter Center, a contributing writer for Mediaquest Corp. and a program assistant at the University of Columbia (NYC).