My Coding Story: Zaahra and Eesa

I'm Zaahra. And I'm Eesa. And we live in East London with our baby sister and our parents. Zaahra: We are a brother and sister coding team, and we want to share with you our story about how technology can help communities, and how it has brought our family closer together.

Zaahra: My mum was telling me about coding when I was about Eesa's age, like 8, and I got really excited. And she took me to a Code Club in the ? Globe. I was very impressed when I saw the setup, all the computers... All of the other children, they were helping me as well.

I learned really fast because they are so many good teachers

Zaahra: I remember Eesa when he was little, when he used to see me coding, he used to say he wants to be a software engineer.

Eesa: I was about 4 or 5, I would always just look at her screen while she was coding, I was thinking, "Oh, that's interesting, I really want to try that."

Zaahra: Eesa and I have always enjoyed working together, and last year we decided to work on a Coolest Projects entry as a team.

Eesa: We wanted to create something that was helpful to us, but also helpful to our family and the wider community. So we decided to build a language app to help our friends and family learn Sylheti so that we can communicate better with our grandparents and reconnect with our Bangladeshi heritage.

Zaahra: Our app is to teach people how to speak Sylheti, which is a dialect of Bengali from the country we're from.

Eesa: We hope you like it.

Zaahra: We were struggling to understand what our grandparents were saying. We knew a few simple words but we wanted to know more and have a proper conversation with them.

Zaahra: Loads of kids in our generation, they don't know a lot of Bengali and they're not able to speak to their elders. And I'd love to have it teach lots of kids around the world.

Eesa: I would like to do that so it goes worldwide.

Grandfather: [greeting in Sylheti]

[conversation in Sylheti]

[recording from app in Sylheti, grandfather responds]

Eesa: [speaks in Sylheti]

Grandfather: [replys in Sylheti]

Zaahra: It's really nice to talk to them, and they know a bit more about me and they know what I like, andI can understand them and I know their personality a bit more.

Eesa: When we entered Coolest Projects, we never imagined to be picked as one of the judges' favourites — it was the best feeling in the world!

Zaahra: I was so excited and so happy. I've discovered that I am capable of a lot more than I thought.

Eesa: I was surprised it would make it that far. It felt like I was proud of myself.