Farouk Al-Hasbani: language trainer with a mission

4 March 2020
Our language trainers. We consider each and every one of them as ElaN ambassadors, because they are the first line of contact for our trainees and they provide the training programmes with the necessary content. One of them is Farouk Al-Hasbani from Syria. A man with an impressive resumé and an awe-inspiring story.

French teacher at a secondary school. With a PhD in French literature. His own language school and a professor in French at the university of Damascus since 2011. Farouk had a great career and life in Syria. That was until 2016, when he was forced to flee from the war. Together with his wife and kids, he roamed around for quite some time before finally ending up in Kessel-Lo.

Each training is different

Getting his life back on track in Belgium was not easy. “That’s why I am so glad that ElaN Languages provided me with the opportunity to work as a language trainer.” Meanwhile, Farouk has been collaborating with ElaN for five years. “I really like this job. It is satisfying to see my trainees’ French progressing.” Farouk trains all kinds of profiles, from safety managers to representatives. “A tailor-made approach is vital. Apart from the traditional grammar and vocabulary I am also teaching them French key phrases and expressions they will need professionally.”

Incorporate interests

Farouk loves to play his lute and likes to read the works of Victor Hugo and Gustave Flaubert, his favourite authors. On top of that, he likes to incorporate the trainees’ interests in his courses as much as possible, in order to keep them exciting and pleasant. “Just last week, a trainee asked me about the story of ‘Madame Bovary’, Gustave Flaubert’s classic novel. In response, I tailored the following course and incorporated it. It was as if Emma Bovary was one of the trainees (laughs). This other time, I taught various cycling terms to a cycling aficionado.”

Away from Syria

As a teacher and professor, Farouk had a certain status in Syria. “This allowed me to help other people. In Syria, I supported young people who wanted to study and I set up a project to help jobless people get a job.” Since coming to Belgium, he has been rather active as well. Farouk is a volunteer and organises information evenings about Syria. He has written a book, ‘Weg van Syrië’ (Away from Syria), which will be released next week. This tells the story of the humanitarian crisis in his home country and shows what war does to people. “Belgium gave me the opportunity to build a new life. It is my way to give something back to my second home.”