In a public library in the North East of Scotland, a small group of Syrian new Scots meets every week with a mission to develop their computer skills. The class is delivered by the Al-Amal Project (which means 'hope'), a newly formed charity organisation which aims to encourage active community participation of Syrian new Scots and help them to learn and develop employability skills. The Al-Amal Project was set up by an inspirational young Syrian, Dured Alhalabe, who resettled with his family in Scotland just above a year ago, after his city, Homs, was destroyed by the civil war. For his significant contribution to the local community of Syrian new Scots, Dured, has this year been winner of the Young Community Scot Award, continuously spreading a vision of hope.
For more information on the Young Scot Awards 2017 visit: https://youngscotawards.com/
The computer class is one of the many projects the Al-Amal group is currently running and it is specifically designed to help local Syrian new Scots of all ages and backgrounds to develop essential computer skills and learn how to use everyday life information and communication technologies and applications. The class aims to guide participants how to operate a computer and use basic programmes, such as Microsoft Word or Excel, set up and use an email account, use social media for communication, and search effectively on the Internet. The class also covers potential avenues for online shopping and how to safely make online purchases.
Computer class organised by the Al-Amal Project
When we visited, the lessons had already been running for six weeks. Unfortunately, most people taking part in the lessons, had no computers at home. However, Dured had created a set of instructions with screenshots to help them practise their skills when they visited again the library. Dured had also bought Arabic keyboard stickers/overlays that he lent to people so that they could familiarise themselves with the position of the Arabic letters on the keyboard.
|On the left - instructions created by Dured On the right - Arabic On-Screen Keyboard used to help participants learn the position of Arabic letters on the standard English keyboard.|
We were very impressed with the support Dured offered during his class and we would like to thank both the Al-Amal project and the public library that accommodated us during that training session.