Muscat: Al Noor Association for the Blind is moving to bigger and better premises which will include a library and built-in studio.
Decades ago, when Ibrahim bin Hamdoon Al Harthi first heard about the organisation—The Al Noor Association for the Blind—opening a branch in Muscat, he immediately decided to join the organisation as a member as he felt it was an important initiative to help society and the blind.
Today, as the head of organisation, he strongly feels that it is a medium through which the members are able to remain connected to society.
The current centre, which is in Al Khuwair, is all set to start from a new location soon which would be bigger and better.
“We are opening a new building soon in Bausher. It will be bigger and better, with more facilities and centres, including a library and a built-in studio. We are urging individuals and companies to support us in completing this project,” said Al Harthi.
Having been one of the founders of the Oman Association for Disabled since 1994 and now being associated with the Public Authority for Radio and TV for 27 years, Al Harthi said that while the association is working very hard to work for the blind and their cause there is lots more to be done in this field.
“We are aiming to develop it further in the Sultanate, raise awareness, and focus on their employment. Having a job is the most important aspect in a person’s life and more so for the blind as they cannot have any source of income other than the one earned from working. So our aim is to look for jobs and provide the right placements for the blind,” he added.
Highlighting the core function of the association, Al Harthi said that apart from education, they also work in close coordination with students in universities and colleges and provide the necessary help when needed.
“For any kind of support from us, we try to do the best we can to help ease the education process for them (the blind),” he said.
Periodically, the association also holds workshops that are aimed at honing computer skills.
“Our workshops aim to train the blind on how to take the help of technology.
“These workshops teach them to use a computer that has voice applications and programmes. Other workshops that are in use are smartphones with voice applications,” informed Al Harthi.
The association also hosts several educational trips and visits to other wilayats and governorates of Oman, including Musandam, Masirah and Salalah, with an aim to raise awareness and participation in international events.
“We are part of the Arab Union for the Blind and the World Blind Union. We support several companies to buy equipment for the blind or contribute in eye treatment procedures like cornea transplant. We also send doctors to India to take courses in eye treatment as our main aim is to rehabilitate the blind and integrate them in the community,” he said.