Celebrating Mother’s Day at Azraq Camp in Jordan
Happy Mother’s Day!
Did you know that Mother’s Day is celebrated in Jordan and other countries in the Middle East on March 21? To honor the day, The Holy Land Institute for the Deaf (HLID) disability center in the Azraq Syrian refugee camp celebrated by joining together the children from the cognitive, visual, hearing and speech disability classes, their mothers, the disability specialists who supervise the children, Syrian volunteer teachers and project staff. Celebration activities included games, competitions and dances. Some won prizes. The cheerful day ended with a lunch where mothers received symbolic gifts made by their children.
During the gathering, Ali Taani’s mother, Maysoon, was overwhelmed with emotions. She joyfully expressed being pleased with her son Ali’s positive behavioral and educational changes since he joined the hearing disability class in December 2017, proud of all he has achieved so far. She said: “Ali is the 4th among 5 siblings, and because of his hearing disability, we felt he would have limited opportunities.” To make up for his hearing loss, his parents and family spoiled him. “In spite of that, Ali was reclusive, unhappy, always afraid to leave home or interact with anyone outside the family.”
Being a part of HLID has been an eye opening experience for Ali and Maysoon. Ali started to appreciate the importance of having friends to play with. He is more capable of expressing his likes and dislikes using sign language. He knows numbers, letters and words and is learning how to write.
Ongoing input and guidance offered to Maysoon by the hearing disability specialist improved her ability to interact and understand Ali. The monthly Self Help Group meetings of parents of children with hearing disabilities gave her a sense of comfort because other parents share similar concerns.
Maysoon has no relatives in the Azraq camp other than her immediate family. Celebrating Mother’s Day at the center made her feel she is among family and friends and part of a larger community offering love and support.
The Venerable Luay R. Haddad is the Archdeacon of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Images: Top—Students at the HLID disability center present Mother’s Day cards to their moms; Middle 1—HLID disability students give a special presentation to their moms; Middle 2—Ali and some of his classmates at HLID; Middle 3—Students and HLID staff members.