Nidal Amir Alcalde
Arabic and Spanish Teacher, UWC Atlantic College
Nidal Amir Alcalde was born in Sevilla, Spain, in 1973, from Spanish and Palestinian parents. In Spain he formed his initial identity but soon realised that identity is never still and homogeneous. At the age of 13 Nidal was sent on his own to Palestine in order to meet with his Palestinian family for first time and then he started learning Arabic. Belonging to both, the Spanish and the Arabic speaking worlds, makes him feel at home in UWCAC where diversity is at the essence of our community and it’s at the heart of the UWC Mission statement together with unity and sustainable peace, desperately needed in the Arab World these days. In 2005, UWC Atlantic College invited him for a job interview to teach Arabic and Spanish, and since then Nidal has continued educating young people from all over the world. For one academic year, he led Social Service at UWC Atlantic College and, like all teachers there, he has led and participated in different services to support different disadvantaged communities. In 2011 he, together with committed students and colleagues, took the opportunity to start and develop a fruitful partnership with two different organizations which support asylum seekers and refugees in Cardiff (OASIS and STAR). Thanks to that, currently 36 UWCAC students support and interact with refugees and asylum seekers on a weekly basis. In the past, Nidal has co-led projects in Yemen, Jordan and Morocco. The last three years he has co-led an exchange refugee project in Cardiff which includes a UWCAC Refugee Day, when around 80 refugees and asylum seekers spend the day at UWCAC with their families and participate in different activities together with our students. This project started as a student initiative. Recently, other schools and colleges in UK have started to follow our steps!