Yousef Omar

“I love being part of something where I have the freedom to be creative and innovative and where I can actually make my ideas happen. I am working with a very inspiring team and we’re constantly challenging each other to think in different ways and develop new ideas. I get a real buzz from this, but the biggest buzz comes from the learners. Seeing people from all walks of life engaging enthusiastically with Arabic language and culture is wonderful. In the current political climate where much of the media bombards us with so many negative images of the Arab world, the value of this cannot be overstated. Here at Sharek Centre “We believe that language and its culture is better shared than taught.”

For the past 20 years I’ve devoted my life to the teaching of Arabic. I’ve worked in the UK, in Europe and all over the Middle East and North Africa. I have worked in Top universities in UK including 11 years at University of London. I’ve been involved in this field at every stage – teaching, teacher training, research, designing materials and setting up schools and language departments in universities. Throughout my journey, I’ve worked with many inspiring and creative people, but I’ve often been left with the feeling that something is missing from the experience of learning. How can it be that people can get high marks in an exam, even complete their degrees in Arabic, but still not feel able to communicate effectively in an Arabic environment. Arabic, like all languages, was developed out of talk – out of a need to share who we are, and our experience of life, with the world around us. With this in mind, we’ve launched our vision of a new Arabic language and cultural centre in London – Sharek Centre.