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Initiative for visually impaired Egyptians to receive art education
It aims to integrate the visually impaired community into Egyptian society through providing basic photography, art skills
Published in Daily News Egypt on 20 - 01 - 2020

In a world where darkness is the only colour pallet the visually impaired recognise; recognising shapes, colours, and pigments becomes a faraway dream for them. Yet, this fact is about to change for some of this segment that will soon explore the art of painting through their sense of touch and raised line art.
Through a workshop taking place early next month, the Awladna organisation for children with disabilities in cooperation with the Japanese Information and Culture Center, target a group of visually impaired people with the aim of teaching them the basics of painting, defining shapes and colours, and how to create them.
Awladna is an NGO that is specialised in providing people with disabilities, especially children, rehabilitation through art, workshops, and training sessions. The organisation's annual forum takes place in cooperation with UNICEF and the European Union (EU), and under the umbrella of Egypt's ministries of youth and sports, social solidarity, higher education, tourism, and manpower and immigration. Awladna showcases the social struggles of people having a disability, as well as highlighting those who managed to overcome them.
The organisation highlights the achievements of disabled individuals and, through the forum, states recommendations based on personal experiences with the requirements of having a decent life for disabled people in Egypt.
"I believe that art has managed to rehabilitate people with a disability more than any other activity, even sports," Soheir Khedr, the founder and director of Awladna organisation, told Daily News Egypt.
Khedr stated that through this cooperation, the organization is able to provide the visually impaired a chance to learn a new form of inner expression, "which leads them into brining out what is hidden inside of them."
The workshop is dedicated to providing a number of visually impaired people with the basics of photography, lines that shape a portrait, and painting through raised line art.
Through it, participants get to learn the basics of illustrating portraits.
The initiative targets facilitating the rehabilitation of the visually impaired community in Egyptian society, through providing them with artistic skills that help represent themselves and speak to their hearts out.
"If they are always kept inside the NGOs hosting them, they would never find a chance to fit into society or feel like any other member. Only through art can they find such a securing feeling," Khedr added.
The workshop is to be held at the Cairo Opera House, under the instruction of an expert Japanese artist that is specialised in teaching photography and art to the visually impaired.
"The initiative was firstly established by the Japanese Information and Culture Center that reached out to us, requesting to provide groups of visually disabled people in order to teach them such fascinating art," Khedr said, adding "I personally long to attend the workshop in order to know its details and how we can teach this art to them."
She, further, elaborated that the participating groups are not only restricted to children, "but open to people of all ages, who are in need of art to express their souls."
Looking forward to what is beyond a few-hour workshop presented to only a limited group of people, Khedr is planning to expand the initiative and grow its target group.
"We will make sure a number of Egyptian artists attend in order to learn about this educational system and its details, in order to teach as many people as possible who will not have the chance to attend," she stated.
The workshop comes as a part of a series of activities that Awladna foundation holds every month.
Khedr explains that that the organisation's main goal is to provide a decent life to people with disability and their children.
"That is through developing their skills, and raising their awareness as well as society's of their rights, and needs," she explained in the press release published by the foundation about the event.
The event takes place a month before the 4th Awladna International Forum for Arts of Gifted that runs under the theme of "Technology… Our way".
Khedr concluded by highlighting that only through such activities, one can explore the "huge potential that disabled people, especially children, have."

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