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Al Jazeera & Qatar Charity Host Their First Deaf Conference

In Celebration of International Week of the Deaf:
Al Jazeera And Qatar Charity Host Their First Ever Deaf Conference

Doha, 22 September – Al Jazeera, in partnership with Qatar Charity, hosted an inaugural forum on “The Reality and Challenges facing the Deaf Community in the Arab World: Gaza as a Model.” The forum saw deaf participants from all over the Arab world and beyond come together to discuss the issues that most matter to them.

Al Jazeera premiered its special episode “Stronger than Words”, telling the inspirational story of Gaza’s deaf community, impaired in their everyday lives and especially vulnerable in times of violence – a group that feels the attacks, rather than hears them.

“This is a really exciting day for Al Jazeera – to host a forum and provide a platform completely dedicated to the deaf community in the Arab world, a group often marginalized, is something we are really proud of,” said Ahmad Alsaqatri, Deputy Managing Director of Al Jazeera News Channel.

In his speech, Qatar Charity CEO Yousef bin Ahmed Al Kuwari said that Qatar Charity’s interest in such events stems from its belief in the necessity of collaboration and integration among organizations concerned in humanitarian affairs related to the deaf community; a matter which is actively fostered and sponsored by the State of Qatar. Al Kuwari emphasized the significance of the partnership with Al Jazeera in raising the awareness on the difficulties and challenges that the deaf encounter in the Arab world.

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Despite the focus on Gaza, the forum saw a lively discussion between the film’s director, diverse members of the deaf community in the Arab World, as well as representatives from the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and other local and regional NGOs .The forum also showcased interesting projects and future initiatives aimed at the deaf community in the Arab World, especially those in Gaza struggling to cope in the aftermath of the recent war.

The conference is only one part of Al Jazeera’s greater corporate social responsibility (CSR) in raising awareness on the situation of the deaf community in the Arab world. Al Jazeera has long stood by this cause by being the first Arab media outlet to offer bulletins in sign language and by publishing the Arab world’s first deaf dictionary.

Throughout the week, Al Jazeera Arabic and its online platform (aljazeera.net) will showcase extensive coverage and reports on deaf communities in different Arab countries, focusing on the obstacles and challenges they face in their everyday lives. Al Jazeera’ s renowned Media Training & Development Center will also be offering courses in sign language to both Al Jazeera staff and the greater public.

Qatar Charity is considered the largest and oldest humanitarian organization in Qatar with 18 offices around the world. It has partnerships with a wide range of local, regional and global organizations and dedicates its programs to those with special needs in its quest to have a positive impact in their lives.


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