200,000 disabled demand support [Archives:2007/1070/Local News]

July 23 2007

TAIZ, July 20 ) Individuals with disabilities face major obstacles in Taiz governorate.

Abdu Ali Al-Ja'fari, editor-in chief of Al-Azeema newspaper, which is issued by the association of physically handicapped persons, stated that disabled people number more than 200,000, and include those with both mental and physical handicaps. Among the problems they face is accessibility to adequate transportation, a problem that has been exacerbated by lack of funds. Additionally, those who have low skill level lack access to suitable employment, with only five percent of available jobs meeting their needs.

Al-Ja'fari added that Al-Azeema newspaper seeks to assert itself more in the press. It is currently celebrating its third year of publication in addressing the needs of disabled citizens in Taiz governorate. Al-Ja'fari also confirmed that the newspaper will be produced bi-monthly, aspiring to be a press foundation in the future. “In spite of the paucity of our potential, we could overcome such obstacles for the sake of serving our country. We have future aspirations such as putting this category [disabled] into the picture of media and presenting the lofted and creative ideas they have,” Al-Ja'fari maintained.

Nabeel Al-Ma'mari, secretary general of the syndicate of handicapped persons, demanded that concerned parties build a comprehensive center to serve the needs of handicapped persons. The center must have the ability to receive the handicapped and include training and educational programs. It must also provide natural medicine and family guidance. “The association is attempting to utilize the experience of other countries in this respect,” Al-Ma'mari added. He expressed his hope that concerned parties will employ secondary school disabled as well as those who have obtained diplomas.

Additionally, Al-Ma'mari pointed out that Taiz contains the largest percentage of disabled citizens who constitute 10 percent of the governorate's population. The construction of a disability center will serve the needs of 2,000 male and female disabled persons.

Mohamoud Shahir, head of the board of directors for the handicapped, affirmed the support of the board for such a center. He stated, “By cooperation and uniting efforts, we can offer a hand of help to the handicapped. We have to admit that they are a constructive power.” He also stated that media efforts put forth by the association are like a candle, illuminating the struggles of the handicapped, including how they may be overcome.