Sat, Jan 12, 2013 - Page 12 News List

Gaza restaurant gives deaf a chance to shine

By Mai Yaghi  /  AFP, Gaza City

“I am looking forward to improving my culinary skills so my colleagues and I can prove ourselves, despite our disability. I am very happy now,” she added with a smile.

The restaurant’s chef, 30-year-old Hassan Addabus, hovered nearby as his charges worked, giving them pointers on their technique in sign language.

“I have been doing this for 10 years and it was always about doing a job I love, but today it means much more than that,” he said. “It has a moral and human significance because of the support it offers to people with disabilities in our society who deserve all of our help.”

Amina al-Omari, 22, also hard at work in the kitchen, said the job had given her a new sense of self.

“Society has no idea about our needs,” she explained. “I felt subject to injustice and oppression because of this, but those feelings started to fade away after I started working here and becoming independent.”

“We are capable of proving our skills and excellence. We might be deaf, but we have a lot of potential,” she added.

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