Tell us a bit about yourself and your partner.
My name is Sam Issa and I run Samuel Issa Förlag (Publishing Company) with Andreas Issa and Mats Svanberg. Andreas is an authorized teacher in SFI (Swedish For Immigrants) and Swedish as a second language, and Mats works with business development. I came to Sweden when I was eleven years old and went through the integration process that many new arrivals go through. Since I consider myself to be well integrated within the Swedish society, I now want to help others get up on their feet again after such turbulent changes they’ve been experiencing in life.
Andreas, Mats, and I want to act as a bridge for integration through our work, as the team together possesses profound knowledge of both the Swedish culture and different cultures from countries in the Middle East.
I work with project management and Andreas works with the development of topics for the material. When Andreas develops new material, I take over and work with design, translation, production, printing, and so on. In addition to product development, I also work in sales, marketing, and communications. It’s all about finding collaborators who work with new arrivals at different levels, both municipal and private actors around Sweden. Schools and other educational organizations are a very important segment, this strategy part is the one Mats focuses on and helps Andreas and I on the operational part.
What is your initiative about?
We offer native language based teaching material in various languages (Arabic, Somali, Persian, Dari, Tigrinya, English and Swedish). Our books teach the Swedish language in a very easy and educational way. New arrivals can learn the language in half the time it normally takes; according to feedback from teachers in different schools around Sweden.
Why did you launch this project? Why is it important to learn Swedish?
We wanted to provide a more long-term value for newcomers that could help them learn the language faster and become independent in their new home. This is to help people being able to integrate in the long run on the road into the Swedish society.
What plans do you have for the future?
We are working on development of new materials, such as professionally oriented books that people need when they complete the language barrier. Also, books about the Swedish culture and common norms in Sweden.
At the moment we are running a CSR-campaign. Companies that want/can contribute to the integrations issue in Sweden have the possibility to buy a CSR-package containing “The Swedish language” books in different languages. The CSR package goes directly to address where help organizations such as The red cross, Svenska Kyrkan and others are working daily with newcomers.