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AMIDEAST/MALI
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mattjd43



Joined: 30 Dec 2008
Posts: 17
Location: Syracuse, N.Y., USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:47 am    Post subject: AMIDEAST/MALI Reply with quote

Hi,
I am attempting to find a job in either Yemen or Syria teaching EFL. I have read pretty much all the posts on Dave's regarding these countries, however I haven't found any posts that are all that recent.

Basically, I am wondering if anyone can giveany feedback into how well-run these two organizations are. They appear to be reputable, but as I said, most of the info I have found is kind of old.

Any insight into these organizations, and any tips on other good agencies in these countries, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
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cmann



Joined: 01 Jan 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Syria the British Council is really the only show in town, it has a good reputation and the teachers there are happy, some have worked there for years. I have visited Syria and loved it but never lived there.

Yemen is totally different I worked for AMEDEAST for 9 months last year and I enjoyed my time with them, they were very professional and paid on time (this is a big deal in Yemen, as many do not). As an American Government sponsored organization you are more or less safe in the work environment but you do have to take the American aspect into account this might not be the right time for Americans in the region, but then no time is really the “right time”. MALI is a much smaller outfit and I knew some of their teachers when I was in Sanna, and the reports were mixed, lies about housing, and very few benefits only 2 weeks paid holiday per year and one unpaid week off every 5 weeks which cuts into your budget, you have to take the week off. I met the then coordinator for Aden and she had nothing good to say about the place, I think she has now left.

Yemen is an interesting country but very 3rd. world. As an American I felt reasonably safe in Sanna, I never visited Aden which has the reputation of being more open and I did not feel safe nor was I encouraged to travel about the country, things must be worse now after the Embassy bombs.

For me it would be Syria but if any people are in Yemen now they might give you a better idea.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is also the American Language Center in Damascus if it was not closed during the last kerfuffle when the US crossed the border and killed mostly civilians. If you have read all the posts, you probably saw Basil the Rat's post about it. All good reviews from teachers I know who worked there. It is actually part of the AMIDEAST system - same as in Yemen (and Egypt and Morocco and Tunisia and and and)

These are always good jobs with a regular pay check and sensible professional management (most of the time). Its reputation is as good as the BC, but the pay and benefits will be smaller. That is because it is not American government sponsored. It is a private non-profit organization (unlike the British Council which is a government operation) that has been around since the 1950s. It naturally works closely with the embassy and USAID, but is privately funded - predominantly by Arab Americans, large corporations, and I noticed Sheikh Mohammed from the UAE on the donor list.

VS
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sliim



Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About teaching in Yemen: I taught there for a year and a half in two different language centers. Naturally I cannot speak for every language institute in the country, but from what I gathered working with and meeting teachers from around the country, the ONLY reliable employer in Yemen for ESL teachers is Amideast.

I unfortunately didn't get the chance to work for them directly, but I did do some side projects with the German embassy in Aden and had the chance to work with Amideast staff there. And they were all happy with their working conditions.

Yemen is a different kind of experience, but it is worthwhile for people who have the patience and tolerance to give it a try. It is really important, however, to work for an employer that will not treat you like a donkey, and that's why I say go with Amideast, enjoy your stay, and leave with good memories. Otherwise you risk getting stiffed, cheated, and mistreated. Trust me, I've seen it.

Once again, I cannot speak for every institute, but the ones I worked for--not trying to name names here--really spoiled what was otherwise a life changing experience for me. So if you want my two cents, go with Amideast and spend your time off enjoying the good things that Yemen and the Yemenis have to offer.

Feel free to pm me if you would like any more info about Yemen.
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basiltherat



Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 952

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
I keep in contact with a few syrians I met there and I get the impression that nothing really has changed since I left just over a year ago; still safe etc.

Besides BC, I know New Horizons is there in Damascus. Might be worth googling it; see what you find.
Best
Basil Very Happy
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mattjd43



Joined: 30 Dec 2008
Posts: 17
Location: Syracuse, N.Y., USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:40 pm    Post subject: Amideast is great Reply with quote

Hello,

Thank you all for the kind replies. I am lucky enough to have been hired by Amideast here in Aden and am LOVING my experience. I highly recommend that anyone looking for ESL work in the Middle East to apply for a position with Amideast. They are highly professional and responsible. They are most courteous and highly attuned to the needs of both the students and staff. I am duly impressed and am highly enjoying my time here. I am currently in Sana'a. I visited the Aden office last week and was astounded at the heat and humidity. But still, the country is great. I had heard great things about working for Amideast before I was hired, and I can now say firsthand that all the positive info is indeed true.

Thanks again everyone!

--M
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polyglot2000



Joined: 31 Dec 2008
Posts: 4
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 6:03 pm    Post subject: Yemen Reply with quote

Greetings.
I am currently teaching in Oman, but I may get a job in Yemen soon.

I am thinking of driving my car -- along with all my stuff -- to Aden, but I am worried about the stretch of road from the Omani border -- Salalah -- to Aden. This might be bandit country, as well as the newly announced Al Qaida in Yemen!!

Also, I have been advised to go to Dubai and have my car registration changed from Oman to Yemen with some company there.

Does anyone have any information about any of this?

Thanks for any advice.
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mattjd43



Joined: 30 Dec 2008
Posts: 17
Location: Syracuse, N.Y., USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would highly advise against making that drive from Oman to Aden. It's just not safe, particularly the Mukalla - Aden stretch. Things probably won't be getting much better anytime soon with the recent attacks on Al-Qaeda assets in the country. I know foreigners who have travelled between Aden and Mukalla overland and there always seems to be some sort of a problem. Even if you don't encounter any tribal roadblocks, you may very well have difficulties getting past the security checkpoints. If you are Arab, you may be ok. Still, a busload of Yemenis from Sana'a University recently were carjacked on the way to Mareb. There are too many unknowns and variables when travelling outside the cities.

Yemen is a great country though. I've enjoyed my 10 months here very much. I'm looking forward to returning to the U.S. in late February but I think I'd like to come back here at some point.
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MSnyder540



Joined: 20 May 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bumping in the interest of finding out more about MALI Yemen, which recently replied to my job inquiry. I did a search for MALI (thanks VS) but it seems that the positive reviews are outdated by a few years. See: http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=12809

More recent stuff focuses on the negative, like this thread. Any tales of dubious contracts or late paychecks would be much appreciated!
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sliim



Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spent a couple of years teaching in Yemen. For the most part, I can say that the experiences I had with the people and the students were really great.

The troubles I had with my employers, however, were another matter.

In another post related to Yemen, I wrote that, if one wishes to work in Yemen, one should "go with Amideast, go with the British Council, or simply don't go."

There are reasons why I said that. I have other posts on this site regarding teaching in Yemen, and I think you can infer a lot of information about where to work and where not to work from them--from my perspective, of course. You might want to check them out.

I did work for MALI and found my experience to be far, far less than satisfactory.

I have said this before on this site and will say it again--it is especially relevant now, in fact:

If you are going to work in Yemen, you must--must--must work for an employer that is reliable and that you can trust. For this, Amideast and the British Council are a sure bet. YALI would come third (though I believe they are now owned by Amideast anyway). I am told that YCMES is also good, but you should speak to someone working there and find out for sure. I also knew many people from New Horizons; they were really nice, but the pay was simply to low for me to accept.

Yemen can be a difficult place for work. Myself, I was arrested on bogus charges because a coworker was jealous, decided to dislike me, or was simply insane, and bribed the police. I worked at a contract at the Aden Refinery Company, and when a pipeline was bombed, no safety precautions were ever taken or even mentioned--not to mention that, while working there, one of the Refinery personal was hungry for bribes and set me against my employer with wild accusations.

That said, I still say that Yemenis are good people, though abusive working conditions can be found there as they can be found anywhere. And if you want to see mind-blowing architecture and masonry, go to Yemen. Yemen is the last place where you can find a bit of old Arabia.

But in order for your stay in Yemen to be positive, you must take care. There is a war being fought in Sa'ada province in the north with 170000+ internally displaced refugees. There is also a secessionist movement in the south that has had serious protests resulting in people being killed and injured, and if you have seen recent news (we are now Dec 2009), Yemen is being treated as the new hotbed for "AlQaida terrorists," and this will not only reimforce some western misconceptions about Yemen, but also reinforce some Yemeni misconceptions about the West.

These are not small matters. It is not simply "news." Many people are living out the consequences of these events and many lives are being ruined. Consequently, and I hate to sound sappy, I think that Yemenis could use a few good English teachers, ones that are interested in helping them develop their country on their own terms. I also think that Yemenis have alot to teach in their own right.

For me, this is what got me into teaching English internationally in the first place: real intercultural dailogue, and the mutual enhancement that occurs when this kind of contact is established. It is also the general lack of this spirit that eventually prompted me to leave ESL teaching altogether.

So, if you wish to work in Yemen all I can say say is...go. You won't regret it, but only if you go with the right employer.

I hope that this is helpful.

Best.
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ttabori



Joined: 17 Dec 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Folks,

Obviously the security situation has just gotten a tad worse in Yemen, but...

Have any of you worked for MALI in the past few months? What were your experiences like? How (specifically) does it compare to AMIDEAST?

Thanks for everyone's input.

Tom
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sliim



Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to work at MALI, just a block away from Amideast in Aden, and I good relations with a lot of the foreign teaching staff there. I was there for a year and a half.

I have posted several things about teaching in Yemen on this site, and you may want to check them out. Much of what I refer to is about teaching at MALI. Basically, I would strongly advise anyone from working for MALI, but especially now that there is a lot of civil strife in Yemen.

I would not say to avoid Yemen altogether though, generally speaking that is. I knew many employees at Amideast and they were extrememly happy with the way they were treated. The Biritish Council is also a good option.

But MALI is simply not a responsible employer. There is no professional academic conduct when it comes to teaching, grading, testing, etc., and the administration will always undermine the terms of your contract, short change you, charge you for ficticious "fees" that are "not covered in you contract," and sometimes, worse. Basically, MALI administrators ripped off many a teacher during the time I was there.

I would also just like to say that I am someone who is not normally phased by propaganda regarding one country/people or another, but this is a bad time to want to go to Yemen in general.

If you do go, however, you must work for a decent employer that will not rip you off or abuse you while you are there.

So my opinion is...go with Amideast and you will save yourself a lot of trouble, even if it entails waiting a bit. They ususally hire about twice a year, once in spring and again in the fall. If you keep watching the job postings on this site, you will likely find work with Amideast, depending upon your qualifications, that is. It may take a little time, but it will be well worth the wait.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AMIDEAST doesn't "own" any schools. They are purely in the management business of schools. They have passed their management over to YCMES and they have many of the same people and have maintained their good reputation. YALI is also dependable.

VS
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ttabori



Joined: 17 Dec 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for everyone's input on the matter! Very informative indeed.
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jadoaus



Joined: 25 Feb 2010
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too would love to teach in Yemen, and have found these posts most helpful.

I do have one question for those that have worked for AMIDEAST: the pages seem to loop on each other when I click on the teach in Yemen section of AMIDEAST, and I can't get an idea of what minimum qualifications they would be looking for.

For teaching with AMIDEAST in Tunis, for example, they're looking for a celta and preferably some experience. Morocco asks for "Teaching English as a Foreign Language qualifications". But the Yemeni pages have no specific requirements/link to the generic programs and services page.

I notice that YALI is also not asking for many qualifications compared to other places in the Middle East: Degree necessary, celta and experience preferable
http://www.yaliefl.org/employment.html

I would pm some of you who've worked directly with these organisations, but this is my first post (Hi all!) and I can't pm yet. I have been lurking on these boards for months though, so know all of you are way more qualified/experienced than this. I however have about four months teaching experience, a degree and a TEFL cert (Online, not worth the paper it's printed on, I would do a Celta as soon as I can afford it), and want to know if I've a remote hope of getting in.

Veildsentiments: YCMES now manage/are affiliated with YALI, as far as I can tell. Are you saying Amideast is no more in Yemen/another affiliate? I'm afraid I don't quite follow, sorry if I'm being dim.

Thanks everyone for all the info and in advance for any more.
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