Jad – Damascus, Syria


Speaks: Arabic, English, French, Italian, some Spanish, German

Is practicing: Helps with Arabic and English and seeks help in Czech. Jad is a beginner in Czech, but finds that the people at the Czech table are usually quite fluent already, so is looking for a one-on-one exchange.

Work: Jad is planning to do his PhD in Telecommunications at ČVUT university. He is an electrical engineer, but is open to teaching positions (English, Arabic, Math and Physics) as he is currently waiting for his work permit.

Why attend SpeakEasy: For Jad, SpeakEasy is like paradise. It is a real pleasure to be in such an internationally friendly environment where people can meet. It doesn’t matter where you are from or what you look like, and that is awesome. He finds it difficult to find this kind of atmosphere outside this event.

Tips on how to learn a language: Tips depend on your level – they are different if you are starting from zero or already have the basics. For level zero: for this level you need patience from both sides (teacher and student) and have the will to learn. If you are at basic or intermediate level, you need to live the language: if you see something in the street, investigate what it means, talk to natives and write down words in their word family – to connect them in meaning and context. The problem with traditional learning here is that words are usually offered as a monodimensional entitiy, in isolation from their context. The translation of a word will not be enough to fully understand it. You need to look at usage and context, and not forget about pronunciation and intonation either.

Personal: Jad is very interested in the current affairs and world reactions to Syrians. The other side of the story is very interesting to uncover, as the media often use heavy propaganda. If the U.S., France and the U.K are honest in spreading democracy in the middle-east, they should better start with the theocratic monarchy of Saudi Arabia. Jad would like European people to know that the majority of Syrian people are secular (Jad himself is atheist) and tolerant, and many of them have a mentality and a lifestyle similar to the European one. The main struggle for them is against the extremists who are supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.


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