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January 2, 2005

Egyptian Charity Teaches Qur'an in Sign Language

From: Islam Online, UK - Jan 2, 2005

By Nasiba Dawood, IOL Staff

CAIRO, January 2 ( – An Egyptian charity has championed the initiative and started a sign-language program to teach the deaf-mutes the meanings of the Noble Qur'an.

With the number of Egyptian deaf-mutes reportedly hitting six million, the Cairo-based Risala (Arabic for message) felt it incumbent upon itself to launch the one-of-a-kind program.

"We first had the idea of starting the program when we visited a school catering for the deaf-mutes to reach out to this marginalized cross-section of Egyptian society," Heba Al-Samlawi, a volunteer with the charity's Alexandria chapter, told

Samlawi said they were bitterly disappointed that the Muslim students had not the opportunity to learn about their.

"Most of them, not to mention, don't know how to perform prayers or recite Al-Fatihah (the opening chapter of the Noble Qur'an)."

Thanks to Risal's efforts, 110 deaf-mutes have enrolled at the Qur'anic course in Cairo in addition to 20 others in the Alexandria branch.

More than 100 volunteers, who have been trained in the sign language, are giving the courses, which first began in February last year.

Risala further printed copies of the Noble Qur'an in Braille and organizes computer classes for the deaf-mutes.

It first flourished inside Cairo University's Faculty of Engineering before becoming a fully-fledged and independent charity with four offices across Egypt.

In no time, Risala attracted scores of volunteers and handsome donations to support its multiple services.

The charity basically caters for the poor, the blind, the elderly and the orphans.

It already established orphanages and a hospital providing charge-free treatment for the poor.

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