We've been studying consonants and vowels since the first lesson. You're level 7 already. I don't really understand what you mean when you say as far as you can see there are no vowels in names. The little dash above the first letter is a "vowel". It is called "fatHa" and represents the short "a" sound. The last letter can be both a consonant or a vowel. Here it is acting as a vowel. It's name is "yaa" but it is making the "ii" sound in this word. Usually Arabic is written without vowels (except for the consonants like "yaa" which also act as vowels). But, I'm sure glad the creators of this course are using the vowel markings to assist us in learning the sounds!
is ر read like "rr" in Spanish everytime or is there a hidden shadda somewhere?