A SYRIAN primary school pupil in Scotland has gone viral on social media after being commended for his progress in learning Gaelic.

Abdullah Al Nakeeb, 10, moved to Stornoway from Homs four years ago. He had already picked up English as a second language but now, in Primary 6, he is well on his way to mastering a third language.

Abdullah’s two younger brothers, Anas and Majd, are also learning Gaelic.

The Al Nakeeb family said: “We are really proud of Abdullah, he loves going to school here and Gaelic has become one of his favourite subjects. Addullah always works really hard and it is nice to see him get praise for all his efforts.

“We never expected our son to learn the language but since moving here he has managed to pick up Gaelic very quickly. His younger brother Majd has also got a good grasp of the language and received a certificate for his progress in December. “ “Hopefully Abdullah’s brothers will continue to follow in his footsteps, it would be great to have them all speaking a new language.”

The Al Nakeebs were among four families who arrived in Lewis from Syria in 2017, under the care and direction of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, with local authorities encouraged to do their bit to accept refugees into their communities.

Stornoway Primary Head Teacher Peigi Maclean added: “Abdullah began to learn English as a second language when he came to Stornoway and is now fluent in both Arabic and English. His first language is Arabic. Since arriving at Stornoway Primary School, he has participated in Gaelic, French and Mandarin lessons.

“He now has a good understanding of Gaelic and is eager to develop his Gaelic conversational skills at every opportunity. As Abdullah is already bilingual, he has the skills to transfer between three languages with ease.”

Six Syrian families have moved to Stornaway and the surrounding area in recent years, with all said to have settled in well.

Homs, where the Al Nakeebs came from, is in western Syria and was a rebel stronghold during the early years of the country’s civil war. It was subject to a brutal three-year siege between 2011 and 2014.