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|Sermons no longer obstacle for deaf!!!!|
|02/22/01 at 01:33:57|
|Sermons no longer obstacle for deaf|
Ahmed Yunes, head of the Egyptian Organization for Rights of
the Disabled, said no one should get in the way of a person
wanting to be closer to God.
July 01, 2000, 09:41 AM
CAIRO (Agencies) - Friday prayers at Cairo's Sayyida Zeinab Mosque were
translated into sign language this week - a first in an Egyptian mosque.
Hundreds of deaf Egyptian Muslims were among those worshipping at the
mosque, where a sign-language interpreter is to be a regular feature.
Sign language translator Alaa Eddin Ismail, 28, stood at the foot of the
preacher's minaret gesturing to around 500 deaf worshippers sitting
cross-legged on the carpets of the Sayyeda Zeinab mosque as the voice of
the preacher resounded around the vaulted chamber.
Ahmed Yunes, head of the Egyptian Organization for Rights of the Disabled,
said no one should get in the way of a person wanting to be closer to God.
"The deaf and the mute, all over the world, are living in a prison of isolation,"
he said. "We are opening the way, and we hope it will never be closed
Egypt's ministry of religious affairs approved a recent proposal from Yunes
to improve the lives of Egypt's handicapped.
Yunes, who is blind, said the Ministry of Religious Endowments gave his
organization approval to start with sign-language interpreters in three Cairo
mosques and to expand in the future. Some churches in Egypt also have
started to provide sign-language interpreters at Sunday services, he said.
"The important thing is that the deaf and mute - no matter what their
nationality, social class, wealth, position, color or religion - know their way to
God," Yunes said.
As the imam spoke from a pulpit Friday about the good deeds of Islam's
Prophet Mohammed, hundreds of people watched as Alaa Eddine
el-Sayyed delivered the sheik's remarks in sign language.
"I wasn't able to sleep the past two nights for being so excited and happy
that I would be the first person to translate the Friday prayers," said
el-Sayyed, who works for the Egyptian rights group. "The happiness that I
saw in the faces of the deaf and mute made me even happier."
"I used to try desperately to follow the lips of the imam, but he was too far
away and I could never see him clearly enough."
"When my students read the news in the papers, they were brimming with
impatience," said Ismail, who learnt sign language to be able to
communicate with his two deaf and mute brothers.
Thirty-year-old Hassan, another deaf Egyptian who sat amid around 3,000
hearing Muslims with his eyes fixed on Ismail's hands, said the experience
made him 'feel normal' for the first time in his life.
The prayers took place in the mosque of Cairo's patron saint, Sayyeda
Zeinab, the granddaughter of the prophet Mohammed, who lived in Cairo for
around a year before she died here in 680.
"This is a positive step for us on the long path towards a normal life," said
Hassan. "It's through simple improvements like this that we can begin to
feel integrated into daily life."
Mohammed Abdel-Fattah, who is deaf, has attended Friday prayers every
week for decades. This Friday, he was finally able to follow every word.
"I used to get angry about attending the prayers and not being able to
understand," Abdel-Fattah, 60, said through a translator. "I am very happy
that something like this is happening."
|Re: Sermons no longer obstacle for deaf!!!!|
|02/23/01 at 09:09:23|
|Humdil Allah- this is wonderful.|
Perhaps if I learn sign language- I will be able to hear the Eid Khutba!
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