Kitaba’s eventful weekend with more planned
The Islamic Texts for the Blind (Kitaba) were forced to make a principled stance by refusing to attend an event they were invited to. The venue had refused to allow guide dogs. As a result, Kitaba refused to participate. Fortunately, the event hosts, The City Circle, shared Kitaba’s concern and changed the venue at short notice. Although, the late change of venue might have affected the attendance, an important point was made that was consistent with the message of the night. Never the less, the turn out was good and there was lively discussion around the issues of visual and hearing impairment. Our guest with the guide dog participated as did several other Blind and deaf people.
Abdul Aziz Ahmed, Chair of Kitaba, delivered a short talk on inclusion and the work of Kitaba and other organisations working for inclusion. This was followed by an excellent presentation by Saqaqat Ali of al-Ishara, an organisation working to support Deaf people. Sadaqat along with his signer, Sadaf, described the needs of Blind Muslims from a personal perspective and highlighted some of the good work they have been doing to include them in community activities. These initiatives include interpretation of the Friday prayer into British Sign Language, classes for Deaf children and adults and an annual pilgrimage trip to Makkah.
The following day, Abdul Aziz taught a parenting course based on Kitaba’s forthcoming book Educating Children by Imam al-Ramli. The course was sold out but the team managed to make some extra places available to make sure everyone on the waiting list were able to attend. The production is now moving towards its final stages and the course helped to raise interest as well as provide more discussion points to be incorporated into the text.
Abdul Aziz will now be focusing on the launch of The Umra Diaries in Denmark on 30th November and 1st December in Copenhagen and the forthcoming Braille course and International Braille conference.
Although the Umra Diaries had been launched in the UK in May, our partners, Merhaba, decided they would postpone the launch to allow more time for building a network with other voluntary organisations, statutory bodies and within the ethnic minority communities. This has now been done and many of these organisations are now on board to take the inclusion agenda forward in a co-ordinated and structured way with Merhaba playing a major role. There will be a series of events including workshops and lectures by disabled people, activists, carers and community leaders.
The Braille course entitled Breaking the Barriers will take place during the December holidays. ‘Breaking Barriers’ is the first two day course of its kind in the UK, introducing a thorough understanding of Arabic Braille, methodology and the tools to be able to read the Qur’an in Braille.
Issues surrounding visual impairment including marginalisation, different eye conditions and strategies to support those with visual impairment, to facilitate active participation in local communities will be incorporated.
There will be classroom teaching, interspersed with interactive activities and discussions, as well as opportunities to try the all Blind Paralympic sport of ‘goalball’, on the backdrop of the stunning surroundings at De Vere Venues Staverton Park in the Heart of England.
For further information and booking details see http://kitababraillecourse.eventbrite.com/