Skip to content

Tareq Ali Haidar


Long months passed with Tareq Ali Haidar ripping each month off the calendar on his room’s wall without spending a single day in school. Between him and his university degree were hundreds of bombs.

Many times he decided to go to university despite the news and warnings. He set out but never made it. War was tearing up his dreams.

“It pained me to see the futures of children threatened by illiteracy. I told myself that I won’t waste my time in grief and thinking; I have to do something”.

Tareq wanted to use everything he learned over the years to save his country’s children from ignorance. He searched his tools, assessed his knowledge and capabilities and made the decision: a free electronic application for teaching English.

However, there was a long road between the idea and its implementation, which Tareq was aware of from the beginning. Where does he start?

The media student, who hadn’t graduated yet, had a lot of determination but barely any experience in coding, which prevented him from taking any real first steps. He decided to start on his path anyway despite the obvious obstacles.

In early 2018, as he was escaping the noise of war to read news about friends on Facebook, his attention was drawn by a colourful advertisement.

He saw the words: “Learn coding for free and achieve all your dreams”.

Tareq needed only a few seconds to realize that all he needed to know to finish his application could be learned within a few months.

Tareq spent long nights staying up, thinking, searching and designing 270 stages of learning English through interaction and stimulation, and 270 stages of language instruction with deep and complex rules.

“The initiative was on my side, trainers accompanied me for long hours and stayed up with me many times until I resolved a problem and was able to move to a more advanced stage. When I woke up after a long night of work, I couldn’t believe that I, Tareq, who felt hopelessness, was able to finish all this without paying a single fils”. Tareq can’t choose the best, easiest or most important course for him among the courses he studied in the One Million Arab Coders initiative. He was emotionally attached to all the lessons. He compared it to the ship he was able to save a generation of Yemeni youths, who thought that drowning was inevitable.