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Om Omar, Lebanese woman opened her house for disabled Syrians

Translation by Yusra Ahmed

(Zaman Al Wasl)- Aisha al-Hajiri, or Om Omar, a widow in her fifties from Arsal, has devoted her life after her husband’s death to help the disabled, although she is not that affluent, but she has turned her 2-room-house into a center to look after disabled and those of special needs.

She works as a cleaner in a hospital of the medical Authority in Ersal, but managed to raise up her three daughters and supported them to reach to University studies.

Zaman al-Wasl visited Om Omar in her house devoted for people of special needs in the area and Syrian refugees, she register their names and their conditions and phone numbers. She listens to their complaints and tries to support them. She has a tea time in the late afternoon every day, when they all gather to drink tea at center.

Om Omar explained that her goal from her initiative is to change the stereotype perception of the “disabled”, which presents them as weak and helpless people, but she with the help of the social specialist, Abdul Hafiz Holani, to study each case and put a plan to deal with them and support them to become stronger.

Moreover, Om Omar has launched training courses for hand crafts and decorating for the disabled to help them in finding a source of incme if they managed to sell them. The training was supervised by a specialist in hand crafts. Moreover, she managed to organized a nursing and literacy courses. However her biggest joy was forming a theater band of people with special needs, she promised to present a show soon.

There are 298 names registered in Om Omar files with different conditions like cerebral palsy, paralysis, deaf, mute, and down Syndrome, all of them do not receive any support of official agencies or associations in Lebanon. Om Omar explained that the most painful situation for her when people need long term medications, but they cannot afford for buy them, like drugs for heart disease and endocrine medications.

Om Omar said that she would appreciate support of good people to support those people of special needs to reach to a state as much as similar to normal people.

Om Omar is an example of strength, tenderness and generosity, and her center is a call to all who are able to support, but preferred to turn the blind eye to this group of vulnerable, but of great potential, people.

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