Autistic Yemeni children show up publicly [Archives:2008/1137/Local News]

March 13 2008

By:Amel Al-Ariqi
SANA'A, March, 9 ) A group of autistic children and their families made their first public appearance on Thursday in order to raise awareness of the disease and to face the community at large, which often stigmatizes them for being mentally ill.

Approximately 10 autistic Yemeni children partook in the charity bazaar that was organized by the Yemen Center for Autism. Over 700 people attended, including diplomats, press members and local citizens.

“This bazaar was very important to us, not just to get donations for the center, but also to spread awareness among the public about autism,” said the center's director, Hussein M. Najee.

The bazaar was advertising through a campaign carried out by the Cleaning Fund in Sana'a, which distributed large wall posters advertising the event.

“Unfortunately, not all the families who have autistic children attended the bazaar, though we tried to encourage them,” said Ahlam Al-Arashi