Mohamad Karkoubi and Siôn Meredith, Head of Learn Welsh Ceredigion-Powys-Carmarthenshire.
(Photo: Aberystwyth University)
Mohamad Karkoubi, who lives in Aberystwyth, has won the Welsh Learner award at an awards ceremony held as part of Refugee Week in Wales.
Wales’ ‘Nation of Sanctuary’ awards were presented for the first time this year by the Welsh Refugee Council in collaboration with the Welsh Refugee Coalition. Awards were given to refugees and asylum seekers who have excelled in the arts, languages, business, and volunteering.
Mohamad is originally from Syria, and moved with his fmaily to Aberystwyth in 2015. He decided to start learning Welsh last year. Mohammed works as a blacksmith in Tregaron, Ceredigion, and has been following an intensive Welsh course at Aberystwyth twice a week.
Mohamad is fully committed to the course, delivered by Learn Welsh Ceredigion-Powys-Carmarthenshire on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh.
In March this year Mohamad and his family went on a Welsh for the Family weekend at Urdd Gobaith Cymru’s residential centre at Llangrannog. The weekend was organised by Learn Welsh Ceredigion-Powys-Carmarthenshire, which is run by Aberystwyth University, and the National Centre for Learning Welsh. During the weekend, Mohammed had the opportunity to attend Welsh lessons and to socialise with other learners.
I am delighted to receive this special award. I really enjoy learning Welsh. The language has helped me and my family to feel part of the community in which we live. I have the opportunity to use Welsh with other learners in the classroom, and at work every day. I am very grateful to the tutor, Rob Dery, and to everyone who helps me.Mohamad Karkoubi
Mohammed has thrown himself into community life in Ceredigion, and appreciates that he lives in a bilingual area. He is very keen to learn the language of his adopted country, and has faced the challenge with joy and enthusiasm. We wish him well as he continues to learn to speak Welsh.Siôn Meredith, Head of Learn Welsh Ceredigion-Powys-Carmarthenshire.