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Disabled In Kuwait Want Their Voices Heard In Next Assembly
July 11, 2013, 9:53 am
Former US president Franklin Roosevelt’s disability did not hinder him from heading America for four consecutive terms, nor did it stop Egyptian intellectual Taha Hussein from becoming Minister of Education although he lost his eye sight since he was four years old. In Kuwait, however, members of Kuwait Disabled Sport Club excelled in sporting activities specially in paralympic games and made many achievements. Kuwaiti paralympic athletes won three gold, silver and bronze medals in Atlanta games in 1996, and had registered a record in the javelin in the 2nd Gulf games that were held in Saudi Arabia. The disabled people play a major role in all domains in Kuwait.
A disabled candidate is running for the July 27 parliamentary elections as the disabled are demanding more support from the legislative authority so they can exercise their daily lives without feeling discrimination with their fellow citizens. Chairman of board of Kuwait Disabled Sport Club Shafi Al-Hajri, in a statement to KUNA, said the disabled people needed real support from all segments of the society namely executive and legislative authorities. He hoped a disabled person would win a parliamentary seat to convey problems of disabled people to the house. He said the law of the disabled No. 8/2010 “has not been fully nor correctly implemented,” because its implementation did not match needs of the disabled.
The club, said Al-Hajri, has been calling for giving the disabled their full rights. He criticized the removal of the committee of the disabled in the last parliament because “it made us feel deeply desperate because this committee was like a window for us through which we channel our demands.” He said the former candidates “traded our case and fail to tackle our demands.” Al-Hajri said the government and parliament needed to talk with special authorities to address root causes of the problems facing the disabled in order to transform Kuwait into “a country friendly to the disabled.” He urged current candidates to focus on the development of the country and society, and paying a great attention to the disabled.
Kuwait athlete Saja Al-Azmi said the disabled “need a genuine support from all authorities concerned in the country.” Al-Azmi, in remarks to KUNA, urged future MPs to “be more serious to supporting rights of the disabled in all spheres.” Al-Azmi, who won three medals in shop pot and javelin events, said she would vote for the disabled candidate because he knew “our daily suffering and difficulties facing us.” Kuwait disabled table tennis players Awadh Al-Harbi and Mohammad bin Jabal called for the establishment of special clubs for the disabled in all of Kuwait’s six governorates. Disabled athletes are facing difficulties when exercising sport activities because there were no clubs near their homes, they agreed. The first committee of the disabled was formed in the 2006 parliament, mandated with debating and preparing all draft laws dealing with the disabled.
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