Join | Donate | Volunteer:


Become part of a 5,000+ community which believes that speaking and listening skills are central to personal fulfilment and cultural understanding

Become a member


One-off or regular donations are vital to our work, helping us ensure that young people everywhere have the oracy skills they need to thrive

Support our work


We’re hugely grateful to those who volunteer their time in helping to organise and run ESU programmes and competitions. Find out how you could help


‘We rely on the generous support of our members, donors and volunteers to ensure we can reach those children who need our help most’

Home > News and views > Living with Arabs

Living with Arabs

Our monthly lecture was attended by 30 members and 6 visitors, including 4 for their first visit – a record in recent decades.  The attraction was a talk by Joan Ward entitled ‘Living with Arabs’.  Joan, a retired RAF Officer, subsequently became a teacher.  As she approached the end of her teaching career in the UK she decided to continue her working life but in Amman as Head of English at the International Community School.  Thus began a fascinating period in her career.  On retirement in 2006 she remained in Jordan where she not only learnt Arabic, but also had to adapt to living in a village among the Arab community as a middle aged lady.   Her experiences were remarkable and vividly demonstrated the profound differences in education given to boys when compared to that of girls; differences that set the tone for their subsequent lives.

Joan demonstrated the clothing she had worn during her six year period living in the village.  Essentially, it comprised full length, mostly black, material which covered arms, legs and neck with a separate long scarf to cover the head.  She decided that ‘when in Rome – do as the Romans do’ was the most suitable approach.  On return to the UK she wrote a book about her time in Jordan which formed the basis of her talk.  The lecture was superbly delivered and very well received.

Share Page