Our Story

In a global setting where political leaders are talking about
building walls, NaTakallam is building bridges.

About

In the summer of 2014, Aline Sara had just completed her masters in International Affairs at Columbia University and was looking for an affordable way to practice her Arabic—specifically, her native Lebanese regional dialect—from New York City. It was also at that time that Syrians, fleeing the violence from the brutal civil war, were pouring into Lebanon, where today, roughly 1 out of 4 people are Syrian. Like most Syrians outside of the country, and notably the 5 million-plus who are living in neighboring countries, Syrians in Lebanon cannot easily get work permits, making their capacity to work and sustain a livelihood incredibly difficult.

The same daily struggle with varying legal realities holds true for Venezuelans living in Argentina, people from Burundi living in Europe or the Middle East, or Yemenis displaced inside their own country, and millions of other displaced persons around the world.

NaTakallam hires displaced persons & their host community members as online tutors, teachers, translators & cultural exchange partners

Global displacement today

110+ Million

Forced to flee their home

84%

Most live in low & middle income countries

70%

Struggle to access the local workforce

Our Mission

NaTakallam leverages the freelance digital economy to provide income to refugees, displaced persons & their host community members, by hiring them as online tutors, teachers, translators & cultural exchange partners, regardless of their location & status.

More recently, in light of the disproportionate number of refugees in countries that are already struggling from socio-economic perspective, NaTakallam also works with host community members.

As a natural byproduct, NaTakallam builds bridges & changes the narrative around global displacement.

Our impact in numbers & demographics

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$3,200,000+

earned by refugees

16,000+

unique users

300+

schools & universities

110+

countries

100+

organisational clients

Meet our team

Our team is based across the world, made of individuals with experience in economic and political development, conflict resolution, human rights, humanitarian affairs, linguistics, technology, finance, design & journalism.

CEO & Co-Founder
COO & Co-Founder
Talent & Community Manager
Organization, People & Ops Consultant
Product Owner
Head of Marketing & Communications
Social Media & Marketing Officer
Digital Marketing Expert
Tech Manager
Communications and PR Officer
Partnership & Business Development Manager
Education Coordinator
Head of Translation & Interpretation Services
Translation Project Manager
Translation Project & Account Manager
Junior Project Manager
Translation project manager
PR & Grants Project Manager
Program Coordinator
Finance Officer
View all team members

Beyond numbers

40%

sustain themselves through NaTakallam while pursuing educational opportunities

60%

report that NaTakallam is their only source of income

30%

found other jobs, resettlement through NaTakallam friendships & network

Our Supporters

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Aline Sara

CEO & Co-Founder

Background In: Human Rights, Conflict Resolution, Journalism

Languages Spoken: English, French, Spanish & Arabic

Based In: NY/Paris/Beirut…

Loves: The etymology of words, coconut, penguins, films for social change

Reza Rahnema

COO & Co-Founder

Background In: Economics & Political Science

Languages Spoken: English, French, Persian

Based In: Paris

Loves: Puzzles

Carmela Francolino

CP Performance & Community Manager

Background In: Human Rights, International Relations, Global Education and Languages

Languages Spoken: English, French, Arabic, Italian and some Russian

Based In: Paris, France

Loves: Architectural photography and cinema

Christele El Fakhoury

Organization, People & Ops Consultant

Background in: Operations, Entrepreneurship, Consulting and Coaching

Languages spoken: French, English, Arabic

Based in: Paris

Loves: Nature, Cycling, Food and a good book

Moulham Ibrik

Moulham Ibrik

Product Owner

Background In: Engineering & humanitarian work

Languages Spoken: English, French, Arabic & some German

Based In: France

Loves: 🚴, research & 🏖️

Kelsey Holmes

Head of Marketing & Communications

Background In: Humanitarian Development, Strategic Communications, Politics, Social Impact, Entrepreneurship 

Languages Spoken: English, French, Arabic 

Based in: Paris, France 

Loves: yoga, pottery and painting, discovering new music talent

Social Media & Marketing Officer

Background In: Communications, CSR, Economics & Geography

Languages Spoken: English, Urdu, basic Arabic & some French

Based In: Qatar

Loves: Storytelling, yoga & the seaside

Rafael Duran

Digital Marketing Expert

Background in: Marketing and Business Development

Languages spoken: Spanish, English, Italian, French, basic Turkish and Arabic

Based in: Istanbul / Mexico City

Loves: Travel, Literature, Gastronomy, Languages, Sports

Safa Marhaba

Tech Manager

Background in: Telecommunications Engineering & AI

Languages spoken: Arabic, English & some French

Based in: Tripoli, Lebanon

Loves: Food & the colour purple

Mikaela Bell

Communications and PR Officer

Background In: Editing, EFL Teaching, Linguistics and Anthropology

Languages Spoken: English, French, Spanish, Some Arabic and Some Scots-Gaelic

Based in: France

Loves: Dance, Creative Writing and Fibercrafts

Layisha Paerhati

Partnership & Business Development Manager

Background In: International Policy and Development, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Business Analytics

Languages Spoken: English, Chinese, Turkish, Spanish, and German

Based In: Canada

Loves: Traveling, hiking, learning foreign languages

Sally Wehbi

Sally Wehbi

Education Coordinator

Background in: Teaching, Education, Laughter Yoga, Event Planning

Languages spoken: Arabic & English

Based in: Lebanon

Loves: Family, adventures, the beach at sunrise & sunset & laughing so hard

Anete Korka

Head of Translation & Interpretation Services

Background In: Language Services

Languages Spoken: Latvian, Russian & English

Based in: Riga, Latvia

Loves: classical music (Three Bs) and cinema (Xavier Dolan)

Najat Keaik

Najat Keaik

Translation Project Manager

Background In: Languages & Translation

Languages Spoken: Arabic, French, English, Italian, Spanish

Based In: Italy

Loves: Mjadara, etymology, plants & walks in nature

Hanna

Hanna Witońska

Translation Project & Account Manager

Background in: Language Services

Languages spoken: Polish, English & some French

Based in: Bristol, UK

Loves: Yoga and books

Adeodat Rubera

Junior Project Manager

Background in: Public Relations, with experience in community leadership

Languages spoken: Kinyarwanda (mother tongue), Swahili, Kirundi, English, French, Kinyamulenge

Based in: Nairobi, Kenya

Loves: Cycling, singing, nature adventures

Kristine Kaufelde

Translation project manager

Background In: Translation & Localization, Culture project management & PR

Languages Spoken: Latvian, Russian & English

Based in: Riga, Latvia

Loves: My family, nature, culture & arts

Federica Ballardini

PR & Grants Project Manager

Background In: Politics and Geography

Languages Spoken: Italian, English, German, French, learning Mandarin

Based in: Taipei

Loves: cappuccino, bouldering and maps

Enas Alsaffadi

Program Coordinator

Background In: Law, Human Rights, Research, and Gender 

Languages Spoken: Arabic, English 

Based in: Palestinian, Based in Brooklyn New York

Loves: Music, workout, elephants, and reading 

Majd Trifie

Majd Trifie

Finance Officer

Background In: Accounting & Finance

Languages Spoken: Arabic, English & some Turkish

Based In: Istanbul

Loves: Football & travelling

Lucy

Lucy Davis

Communications, PR & Development Officer

Background In: Political Science and Advocacy

Languages Spoken: English, French, Spanish, and some Arabic

Based In: France and the US

Loves: Cooking, doing puzzles, and traveling to new places.