The story of Hareth from Iraq

My name is Hareth, I am 31 years old and I come from Iraq. I am volunteering at OCC for my ESC project as an Arabic teacher.

When I was in Iraq I was working as a psychologist in a courthouse with a judge. After this, I worked as a marriage counsellor and social worker. I really enjoyed my job because I was able to talk to people, listen to their problems and use my skills to help them. I also worked as a legal secretary for six months and in customer service. Up until now everything was fine in my life.

For more than 15 years there have been many problems and difficulties in Iraq and things suddenly became worse, so I had to leave. I travelled from Iraq to Turkey where I worked as a building assistant and after that I decided to leave for Europe. I first arrived in Greece, living in refugee camps for eleven months until I got myself a home and I started studying Greek and English to improve my language skills at the Lord Byron School. After this I was accepted for a scholarship at an American University in Thessaloniki and when I finished there, I worked as an interpreter between volunteers and refugees. After receiving my documents, I started travelling around different countries, one of which was Spain. I was searching for somewhere to work when I was introduced to the OCC. I was given a fantastic opportunity by Didac to be part of the organisation and so I travelled to Barcelona in September where I became a full-time volunteer.

My main role at OCC is as an Arabic teacher. Teaching is a great way for me to interact with other people and put my language skills to use. Arabic is a difficult language to teach, especially as each Arabic speaking country has a different dialect, however, I really enjoy meeting new students. I also have other tasks such as assisting classes with refugee minors, helping prepare for the minors and providing information about our classes. I also have the opportunity to participate in Spanish language classes which are really useful for me, especially for living in Barcelona.

I am very grateful to be given this opportunity at OCC and I have settled into the organisation and Barcelona very well. I am excited for the next months.