Mona Dasmal Al-Kuwari, Secretary and board member of the Qatari Cultural and Social Center for the Blind, confirmed that there is a great demand on the center’s programs from the center’s affiliates and members noting their interest and keenness to offer various activities and programs including religious, cultural, technical and health ones, the most important of them are programs that talk about the importance of sports for the blind during the period of quarantine and sitting at home.

She told Al Sharq that there are many programs and activities the center organizes during the coming period and summer vacation as the center organizes 5 to 7 events every month explaining that all programs and events are organized online through the Zoom application. She continued, “Programs and activities include an event on the occasion of the comprehensive access of the disabled people as in this event we talk about the safety of the blind woman in kitchen and we display experiences of the blind women in kitchen learning independence, how they work and what materials they use in addition to all what is related to the kitchen and safety of the blind woman in kitchen.

Inclusion of visually impaired people
She mentioned the importance of offering programs saved by the center in achieving inclusion of the visually impaired in society with their peers in general, whether family, friends, school or all groups of society as well as to raise awareness of the importance of the blind’s participation in events inside and outside the center until he reaches the state of inclusion. In addition, programs aim at raising awareness of the issues and challenges the visually impaired face as well as occupying their leisure in terms of Corona pandemic. She points out that number of the center’s affiliate reaches 280 male and female members. She added “We try through all our programs to include all fields and we publish them on social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. Also, affiliates of the center publish them themselves and we have a great demand for lectures in the field of human development, cultural lectures specially lectures that have a dialogue and discussion nature and we stimulate discussion. Also, lectures include health aspect and proper nutrition. So, we try to shed the light on these events especially events that enjoy good interest. This is in addition to programs specialized in technological aspect as the center within organizing technological lectures seeks to introduce its members both male and female to the new and recent developments in the field of technology and supporting technologies that facilitate life of the blind and change it to better life because of the role they play in increasing his independence and self-reliance and bringing him closer to his peers.

Training blind women on technologies
The center’s secretary said that aims and responsibilities of the center include displaying experiences of male and female members as the center will organize next month a technological event related to the technological aspect of people with special needs in addition to organizing an event in cooperation with Qatari Forum for Authors. This event is entitled “Writer and Book”. They try to implement and organize it within our events every two to three months noting the importance of reading and motivating the center’s members to read in addition to celebrating Albino day where a group of blind people suffer from. Therefore, they try to shed the light on this category within setting up special program for this day. This means that the center has various programs and activities during the month of June.
She added “Also, there is a cooperation agreement between the Blinds Cultural Center and Etzan Center for Training and Consultation and cooperation with Dr. Haya Al-Maadidi as two lectures in the field of the human development will be delivered.

As about challenges that faced them during Corona pandemic, Al-Kuwari pointed out that since the widespread of Corona pandemic and social distancing that accompanied it, we have chosen the appropriate program that the blind can use especially with the online implementation of events noting that at the inception of the crisis, the most prominent challenges were online work, choosing programs suitable for the blind and setting up sound programs at the inception of Corona pandemic.

She added “During the period of home quarantine, we tried to adapt programs so that they will be suitable for that period and also suitable for the last period. This means that some people suffered from bad mental state along the period of sitting at home and we were trying to find suitable solutions and programs to alleviate this state during the period of home quarantine and invest their time in beneficial way.