History of Liverpool Arabic Centre (LAC)
Liverpool Arabic Centre was initially set up as Nadey Al - Cul in 1995 after a group of parents from Yemeni and Arabic backgrounds raised concerns with each other about their children’s educational and personal development which was being affected by negative experiences they were having within schools and unaddressed issues present due having dual heritage backgrounds.
The parents’ aim was to set up a club to support children and young people from Yemeni/Arabic backgrounds for whom there was limited support available from statutory services and a lack of knowledge around specific cultural and religious issues. The aim of the club was to instill cultural pride and support the personal development of the children and young people as well as to encourage the development of their own identities within wider society by educating the children in Arabic language and also through promoting Arabic cultural awareness to the wider community particularly local schools through arts, performance and discussion. In September 2000 Nadey Al - Cul changed its name to Liverpool Yemeni Arabic Club (LYAC) to reflect its expanding service provision and provide a focus on its target group of beneficiaries. LYAC’s activities continued to focus on teaching Arabic language to children and young people, organising educational and cultural activities for families and putting on a Yemeni/Arabic festival to promote and encourage cultural awareness to people from non-Arabic backgrounds.
LYAC opened its official premises in Lodge Lane in September 2000. A productive partnership was then formed with the Bluecoat Arts Centre – Nadey Al Bluecoat – which has since developed into the highly successful annual Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival.
In 2006 LYAC went through a process of re-branding in order to address the changing needs of the community and to cater for the wider Arab communities settling in the Merseyside area in recent years. LYAC became the Liverpool Arabic Centre (LAC).
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Increased access and delivery time of our children's education project
family educational trips and visits
Women's personal development and support groups
Inter generational workshops
and cultural music tuition
Women’s Healthy Living Activities and support in accessing community provision
Multi-cultural health check awareness and referrals in partnership with Liverpool PCTBEM mental Health consultation event. Bridges early intervention and prevention emotional health and wellbeing project
Promotion of Smoking Cessation support provision
- Arts, Culture & Heritage
Delivery of Cartography project in partnership with Dia Batal and Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival.
Cultural music Oud and Drums music sessions and workshops
in partnership with Merseyside Youth Association.
Young peoples culture and diversity event
Women's cultural workshops including Henna, Arts and crafts.
- Community Resources & Advocacy
Continuation of weekly advice and information surgeries
Introduction of women only drop-in support service
Support and referral service for individuals experiencing or at risk of forced marriage.
- Capacity Building
Financial systems reviewed by both LCVS & an independent consultant commissioned by the Parenting Fund
Staff Away Day
New advocacy project business plan and an organisational funding plan produced.
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LAC Members of Staff
LAC Senior Manager: Anne Thwaite
Community Development Manager: Najib Al Hakimi
Administrator: Nagmah Al Garadi
Women's Project Worker: Dhekra Mohammed
Volunteer Admin Support: Elaine Fishwick
LAC staff team is also supported by sessional teacher, community workers and volunteer support staff.
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LAC Board Members
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Razak currently works as a Service Manager for Liverpool City Council’s Careline. He was born in Nawa, Juban district in the Republic of Yemen and completed his primary and secondary education in Aden, South Yemen.
In 1979 he moved to Taiz and joined the Taiz Electricity Corporation as a full time Clerk and continued his high school education until completion in 1983. Later that year Razak moved to Sanaa, where he completed his Army service at Republican Guards in 1984.
In 1985 Razak came to Britain to study Electrical & Electronic Engineering and graduated from Liverpool University.
In 1993 Razak joined Liverpool social services as social worker. In 1994 Razak he was seconded to Liverpool University and completed a Diploma & Masters Degree in social care in 1996. Razak has practised as a Social Worker in various disciplines and became an Approved Social Worker (ASW). In 2003 Razak became an Operational Manager at the social work department at the Royal hospital and in 2004 he became a Service Manager.
Since arriving in the UK Razak became involved with the local Yemeni and Arabic communities offering assistance, support and advice where possible. He is also a fully qualified interpreter/translator.
Razak was probably the first known Arabic speaking Yemeni to be employed by Liverpool City Council. However, his appointment sent a positive message to the community and since then, a number of community members have secured employment with the City council and other statutory bodies.
Razak is founder member of Liverpool Arabic Centre and played a significant role in the development of the organisation as well as the Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival.
16th January 2012
Mr. Warith (Muhsin Saleh Ali), It is with great sadness that we announce that Mr Warith passed away on Monday 16th January 2012.
Mr Warith dedicated his life to supporting charitable services and LAC is honored to have work with such an inspiring and motivational individual.
Mr Warith will be deeply missed by all at LAC but we will cherish and build upon the legacy he left us.
Taher Ali Qassim MBE
Taher was born and grew up in Yemen and studied in Sweden and the UK. He is currently a full time Public Health Neighbourhood Manager with Liverpool Primary Care Trust and has been involved in community development locally, regionally and internationally over the last 25 years. Part of this work was in different countries in the Middle East and Africa.
Taher was one of the founders of the Liverpool Arabic Centre and has been involved as a trustee since 1995. He is also the Chair of the Liverpool Black and other Racial Minorities (BRM) Network, Liverpool BRM Education sub-group, Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival (LAAF) and a Board member of the Bluecoat Arts Centre.
Amira is a qualified psychologist who most recently worked for Building Bridges, Royal Alder Hey NHS Trust. Amira has been involved as a trustee with LAC since 1995. She was born in Port Sudan and has been in the UK since 1983.
Amira was educated in the Sudan, Egypt and the UK and is now a qualified psychologist.
In her spare time Amira enjoys travelling, having experienced a variety of people and cultures in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Her general interests include participating in community initiatives such as those focusing on women and minority groups and also watching movies, cooking, teaching and playing with children. She also has a genuine interest in people and keeps in touch with friends from various countries. Amira's reading is far ranging from classic literature to history and ancient Arabic poetry.
Amira has been involved with Liverpool Arabic Centre since its foundation and is now a Director of the centre.
Musaad Mohammad Mohsin, is a British national originally from Yemen who has over 50 years experience of working and supporting charity and voluntary work in Sheffield, Birmingham and Liverpool and is a dedicated member of our Board.
As well as being a successful businessman Musaad has dedicated significant amounts his time to developing support in response to community needs this has included: being a founder of a number of Yemeni Youth Organisations, language schools and community support services Musaad has held a range of roles with the charities and community groups including secretary and Chair.