Yusra Alhashimi is Founder and CEO of Iqra’a Arabic Language Center. Iqra’a was set up in 2012 with the aim of making the Arabic language fun for children in the UAE.
Alhashimi says she noticed a trend amongst new generations of moving away from Arabic in favour of English. She was given impetus to establish Iqra’a after reading an article in 2009 about the falling standards of Arabic teaching in schools in the country.
Iqra’a is open to children aged 7-14 and hosts a variety of fun activities to help children enjoy Arabic. The Center also holds Arabic courses for adults, both for native speakers and expats.
‘We want to teach Arabic in a fun and interesting way,’ says Alhashimi. ‘There should be a connection with [children’s] daily lives, something that is currently lacking but that we are developing at our Center.’