Language Learning Builds Bridges Between Cultures - Building Markets

Language Learning Builds Bridges Between Cultures

by Nawar Maarri
August 16, 2023

Mr. Murad Kılıç, a Turkish professor, believes strongly in the power of education. He spent 13 years teaching Turkish language and literature to non-native speakers at the University of Aleppo in Syria before the war. When conflict broke out, Murad returned to his hometown of Gaziantep, Türkiye, and began working as a professor at the city’s university.

His unique experience as a cross-cultural educator helps inform his ethos: to help refugees integrate into their new country through language learning. So in 2014, Murad opened the Anadolu Lugat Training Center. He felt a responsibility to his former students, wanting them to have access to essential resources that could help progress their livelihoods. 

Murad has since passed down invaluable support to countless Syrian refugees in Gaziantep, including young adults preparing for university or other educational programs for international students. Murad is proud to partner with local government and non-profit organizations, like the Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce and Gaziantep Immigration Administration, to offer Turkish education to Syrian traders and other groups. Through these partnerships, Murad has been able to positively impact the trajectory of many, including university students, orphans, and 1062 women in just two years. 

Now headed by his daughter, Sümeyra, the Anadolu Lugat Training Center has big goals to expand services to 4000 women in 2023. Her work with women and orphans has been instrumental in continuing Murad’s commitment to promoting language learning and integration of refugees in Gaziantep.

Through the various programs and services offered, the center has helped to foster social cohesion and understanding between the Turkish and Syrian people, while also providing opportunities for refugees to gain new skills and navigate their new lives in Türkiye and work towards their goals of education and employment.

When the center first opened, their journey to success was not without challenges. 

“When we first began our work, we faced challenges due to the prevalence of prejudices against Syrians in Türkiye. In order to help break down these barriers, we taught Turkish language to 25 Syrian agricultural workers and arranged for them to work alongside Turkish agricultural workers, so that they could learn from and understand each other. This was an important step towards promoting mutual understanding and combating prejudice.” Sümeyra said.

In addition to its main operations in Gaziantep, they’ve opened training centers in Hatay, Osmaniye, Kilis, and Mersin too. Taking their expansion even further, the center has recently benefited from Building Markets’ tender service, which helped them to win a big tender with an international non-governmental organization.

The Anadolu Lugat Training Center now aspires to become an international player in cross-cultural education by expanding their services worldwide with the help of Building Markets.

Sümeyra is proud to have a positive impact on the local community, especially by helping Syrians in Türkiye. New people bring new ideas. Trade has seen a revival in Gaziantep and diverse industries continue to grow, benefiting both the local community and the economy as a whole. Offering Turkish and Arabic trainings, Anadolu Lugat Training Center is a welcoming place to foster understanding and connection, acting as a bridge between cultures to promote cross-cultural exchange.

Tags : Success Story

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