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People with special needs get a platform to show their skills.

Summary: JEDDAH: People with special needs are getting an excellent chance to show their talents in a weeklong program under the banner "Join Me For Creativity."

The program at Red Sea Mall is organized by the Our Life Has Meanings foundation as part of Jeddah Shopping Festival 2012 under the umbrella of the Jeddah Chamber for Commerce and Industry. "The program has been organized to support the talents of people with exceptional needs and comprises several workshops, an exhibition and a talent show," said Lena Ahmad, founder of Our Life Has Meanings. She said the program aimed at bringing people with different handicaps under one roof, so they can overcome their problems and participate openly and confidently. "People of special needs face psychological problems more than other people. It is very important to have them recognize their own talents and the fact that there are many people like them with normal lives. This will not only help them build confidence, but also show the society that they are competent in any field of life," she added. One of the events was a color therapy workshop under the supervision of leading Saudi Mohammed Talal Ghabara on Thursday and Friday. "The workshop, Cure With Colors, follows a type of treatment in physiology. The people participating in it will learn how to deal with their emotions and inner problems through the use of colors," explained Ghabara. According to him, color therapy can bring enormous changes in the lives of handicapped people and of people with depression. "I did this treatment with other people who had various problems before and found that working with our hands gives us pleasure. Through color therapy, we can release the feelings and depression that accumulate inside our bodies," he said. Haythem Al-Magrabhi, a 45-year-old disabled person who participated in the color therapy workshop, said that he took part with the hope that it would help him and others to overcome their problems. "I think it will help disabled people by teaching them to show their inner feelings through colors. You don't need to be a painter; I did this workshop and enjoyed it," Magrabhi said, adding that he tried to portrait his feelings through colors. "This program creates a bright future and hope for a dignified life," he concluded. So far, almost 40 male and female handicapped people have participated in the various programs to display their talent. "I had a car accident eight years ago, but I started my life again as a wheelchair trainer and a therapist. We, disabled people, are humans. We are a big part of the society, so learn how to deal with us. Don't show us sympathy; respect us," said Mohammed Al-Shareef, recreational therapist and wheelchair trainer at a hospital in Riyadh. Shareef showed some wheelchair tricks and requested the public to accept handicapped people as part of the society and treat them normally. "Don't help us unless and until we ask for it," he said. Join Me For Creativity started on Wednesday and will continue until Friday, Jan. 27.

Copyright: Arab News 2012 All rights reserved.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Jan 22, 2012
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