Within the activities of its second session, the “Writing for People with Special Needs Initiative” hosted Faisal Al-Kooheji, Chairman of the Qatar Social and Cultural Centre for the Blind to discuss ways to educate the blind.
Faisal Al-Kooheji referred to the importance of the role of state institutions in educating the blind. He further explained that the Qatar Social and Cultural Centre exerts more efforts in this field. It directs its service to two different groups: The first is people with special needs, as it is the main target group of the centre’s activities, while the second is aimed at society in general. The Centre, through its activities, and the initiatives it adopts, aims at raising the cultural level for this category, in addition to shedding light on the topic of reading for the blind. In this context, the centre has a number of contributions, especially in the field of developing the faculty of writing. Consequently, A set of courses, the most important of which was the short story writing course were organized presented by writer Dalal Khalifa.
“We seek to introduce visually impaired people to the most important writers in the State of Qatar,” Faisal Al-Kooheji added “The writer introduces his work to the audience and reads excerpts from it and then they discuss it. The Centre’s last activity in this context was to discuss the book “The Return of Justice” by Mukhtar Khawaja.” He further explained in the same context that among the main objectives of the Centre is the integration of the blind in society, and that is why the general public is invited to attend the centre’s activities, and that attendance is no longer limited to the State of Qatar, but rather has become directed to interested people in various countries of the world, especially with the shift to broadcasting activities through the social media platforms since the beginning of the Corona pandemic crisis.
Mukhtar Khawaja expressed his pride in the affiliation of a group of writers with special needs to the Centre. They in turn have contributed to the development of many talents in the field of writing. He commended as well the role of state institutions in supporting the Centre’s activities and supporting people with special needs. He further noted that there are strenuous efforts to facilitate the blind’s access to knowledge and cultural resources in all its forms and types.
At the end of his speech, Mukhtar Khawaja called for more references for the blind, whether audio or in Braille, noting that there are many difficulties facing the issuance of books for the blind, including their high cost and the fact that they are directed to a small group.