In the eastern Saudi Arabian city of Al Khobar, one young student is devoting her time and energy to helping children with their studies and at no cost to them at all. Zahra Hashem Al Moslem, a Saudi female college student at Abdul Rahman Bin Faisal University, is bringing smiles to kids across the city by allocating time off her schedule each week to teach them for free. Speaking to Al Arabiya English, Al Moslem explained that she decided to embark on this journey last year after an encounter with a young boy during a period in her life when she was in hospital getting treated for an illness.
“On my way to hospital, I saw a boy carrying his book and asking people for money... I sat next to him and opened his book and began explaining to him some of his studies […] After that I fell in love with the idea of teaching the children belonging to needy families. The challenge was how to start and where to advertise for it,” she said.
Al Moslem decided the best way to reach out was by distributing fliers in underprivileged neighborhoods in Al Khobar and telling kids to inform anyone who needed a private tutor to get in touch. At first, it was challenging to hold private classes as she had no dedicated space for the lessons. However, a colleague who lived nearby offered her place for Al Moslem’s classes and the lessons began soon after. The young tutor started off teaching a girl and a boy, then four girls and two boys.
As Al Moslem currently lives on her university campus, she decided to increase the hours of her private lessons to three, in order to cover the children’s school curriculum and to reduce the frequency of her needing to ask for permission to leave the university grounds. Al Moslem’s free classes means she needs financial support from other avenues, which she gets from teaching preparatory year students at university.