Doha: (Agencies:26/4/2009): The first Forum for Gulf Deaf Associations jointly organized by NHRC and The Qatari Cultural and Social Centre for the Deaf opened at the Sharq Hotel today under the theme: "An Active Gulf Participation Vision of Achieving Human Security for the Deaf".
The Forum aims at achieving maximum cooperation amongst Deaf institutions in the region through consolidating relations between the deaf in region on one hand and Deaf institutions on the other.
In this context, the gathering intends to review institutions’ activities and achievements with a view towards improving services for the deaf, and refine the national experience of management and exchange of personal experiences.
Topics for discussion during the forum include the organizational and administrative structure of Gulf Deaf institutions and the actual well being of the deaf in the region regarding in particular duties and obligations, and laws and legislation regarding the deaf sector of Gulf society.
HE Dr. Yusof Fakhro NHRC Vice-President has meanwhile opened the first meeting with a speech in which he explained that people with hearing disabilities should not be measured via their personal worth and ability to compete, but as ordinary citizens who have fundamental rights. His Excellency also stressed the importance of cooperation between the State and civil society to ensure and enhance the rights of the deaf.
The first session of the forum was also addressed by Mr. Khalid Al Mullah Director of the Department of Youth and Mr. Ali Alsunari Chairman of the Board of the Deaf.
In the second session working papers from each of the State of Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman were discussed.
At the same time and in a press interview, her Excellency, NHRC secretary general, Mariam Bint Abdallah al-Attiyah pointed out that the well being of persons of special need is an issue of great concern on the international and domestic levels today as this is now considered one of the basic measures determining the position of any society on the scale of civilized and developed nations.
Securing the interests of the deaf, her Excellency added in no longer regarded as a matter of charity; rather a question of right guaranteed by all world religions and international charters, declarations and conventions.
She also noted that, based on the desire of the State of Qatar often voiced and confirmed by the wise leadership of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the protection and promotion of the rights of persons with specials is now enshrined in Law No. (2) issued in 2004.