Thursday, 27 June 2019 02:24 GMT
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Include us, hearing-impaired in UAE tell cinema halls




(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The community of hearing -impaired in the UAE are complaining that most movies played at the cinemas do not have subtitles.

"I know lots of hearing-impaired adults and children who enjoy watching films. If subtitles were available, they would be enjoy better," said Gulshan Kavarana, founder of Special Families Support (SFS), whose 21-year-old daughter Zara has Dravet Syndrome - a rare form of epilepsy.

Kavarana, who is also an art mentor at the Mawaheb Art Studio for people of determination, added that the hearing-impaired people miss out of good films because they are unable to follow films which do not have subtitles.

"This is the Year of Tolerance and everyone has the right to be included in society," she said. "Maybe, as an experiment, the top management team should sit in the theatre without sound and experience what hearing-impaired people feel."

Victor Sitali, a 28-year-old professional artist from Zambia, said he is hearing-impaired but "enjoys watching movies from different cultures". But for anything to make sense one ought to understand, he added. "We would be happy if we have subtitles for movies and documentaries played in theatres here."

Zia Ul Haq Mirza, a 22-year-old Pakistani resident, said: "I love to watch Bollywood and English movies, but lack of subtitles is a big challenge for me due to my hearing impairment."

Sofia Mehari Molla, a 32-year-old Ethiopian volunteer at the Mawaheb Art Studio for people of determination, said she has hearing impairment. "I can enjoy movies only if there are subtitles.," she said.

With no subtitles, movies do not make sense as we just understand movements, she added. "I hope we will soon have options for people like me and others who have hearing challenges."

Rubina Kola, an Indian accountant, said she finds it difficult to watch movies in cinema theatres. "It's isolating and upsetting that we don't have the freedom and ability to go to cinemas, like other people do. If a film is not subtitled, we don't watch it because we will not understand anything."

Sadath Husain Kola, Rubina Kola's husband, who is also hearing-impaired, said that subtitles are important and should be done on all movies, TV shows, videos and documentaries.

"Deaf awareness aims to improve the lives of people living with hearing issues and hearing loss by removing communication barriers, improving public awareness and supporting new technology. Captions/subtitles help describe audio elements that play a role in the wider story. It's not just about the spoken words."

Rohit Manek, a 27-year-old, said going for movies is a great fun event he enjoys with family and friends. "We are friends coming from different parts of the world and English is the common medium. However, we miss out because we can't follow dialogues."


Ahmed Shaaban Originally from Egypt, I have been in Dubai since December 2005. Before coming here, I worked as an English language instructor, chief En/Ar translator, proofreader, reporter in Egypt and Qatar. I have also worked as a reporter, correspondent and simultaneous translator with two satellite channels in Dubai. I have a masters degree in media, Cairo University, 2014, a bachelor degree in English language and translation, Ain Shams University, Cairo, 1996, and three post-graduate diplomas in English language and Instruction. With over 19 years of experience in translation, interpretation, EFL instruction, and reporting. I am interested in technology, aviation, politics, as well as community, parliament and defence issues. I enjoy reading, writing, exercising, and surfing the web.

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Include us, hearing-impaired in UAE tell cinema halls

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