A computer literacy course, co-taught in Arabic, could make the difference in finding employment

The London Free Press - After arriving in London last winter from war-torn Syria, former bus driver Yousef Alzayad couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel again to support his family of 11 – but speed bumps were fast approaching. “The use of a computer is one of the world’s highest demands,” said Alzayad through an Arabic translation.

He has never been exposed to a mapping system and interactive software in new cars and buses.

The 46-year-old father of nine, with six attending schools in London, was forced to find an alternative route to employment, enrolling in a two-week introductory computer course held at Western University.

Aycha Tammour, an astronomer and researcher at Western, will co-teach the course in Arabic, while maintaining English computer terminology such as desktop and folder.

The faculty of computer science at the university is supporting the independent program by providing a computer lab free of charge for up to two weeks, she said.

Up to 30 Syrian refugees of more than 1,000 in London have signed up for the course that begins Aug. 15 and runs from 1 to 3 p.m.