Badr Ward loves his kids, which is what led this ambitious young man to try and change the Arab world through technology, education, and entertainment. His vision to enhance the education of the region’s children took him on a journey of self-discovery before Lamsa was launched into the world as an interactive Arabic education mobile application.
As his kids grew, Badr saw how much they learned through play. Jouri and Adam, along with his passion for the Arabic language, were the catalysts in his journey to reimagine how young children learn their mother tongue. He sought a method that would teach his kids basic Arabic like numbers and animals along with daily skills, such as tying their laces or brushing their teeth. The Lamsa application allows kids to develop critical thinking, time-management, social interaction, and adopting values; with coexistence and acceptance being benefits of such a platform.
Badr believed that the traditional system of teaching Arabic, through instruction and drilling, was outdated which was causing issues in the system for developing curriculums that are engaging. This brought him to think that kids would learn quicker and more efficiently through more contemporary methods, “we need to transform the process of learning to critical thinking by using modern teaching techniques that are based on interaction with the students.”
In 2013 he collaborated with a group of specialists in the field of education and teaching. His mission was to combine his own experience in technology and employ their educational content to produce a series of videos, games, and activities available on the Lamsa app.
Lamsa proved to be a great hit with parents and their kids and it wasn’t long before Lamsa scored A+ in other areas. The platform hit the first ranks in the category of learning and educational games on Google Play and the App Store, garnering more than five million subscribers and a billion views on the Lamsa application. In addition, several Saudi Arabian schools utilized Lamsa’s content as learning tools in the subjects of Arabic, reading, and art. In the UAE, his Highness Sheikh Mohammed Al-Maktoum’s e-learning initiative adopted Lamsa as an integral part of its smart-learning curriculum.
It comes as no surprise that it wasn’t long before big names wanted to partner with the startup. Badr emphasizes the importance of collaborations and building beneficial strategic partnerships to help make subscribing to Lamsa accessible internationally.
As well as the support of major telecoms across the Middle East, Lamsa has partnered with retro kids show Sesame Street to create contemporary content on its application. Led by popular character Numaan, the Sesame Street content maintains the show’s classic elements while introducing interactive games for the contemporary Arab kid.
In the content creation industry, education is now competing with entertainment to attract consumer attention and urge them to use the product more. Badr is working with a team at Lamsa to launch the first Arabic book that merges printed books with digital ones in the developing field of augmented reality. He hopes this will enhance the learning experience for children at Abu Dhabi’s Education Exhibition to set new expectations for the future of education for Arab children.
Interview: Sara Tariq
Images: Olga Lobanova