By Mudassir Raja
Al Shafallah Center for Persons with Disability – member of Qatar Foundation for Social Work – and ExxonMobil Qatar recently launched a short awareness film at a screening held at the office located in Lusail.
The one-minute-long film is a joint project that encourages inclusion and features people with disabilities. It will be launched on social media platforms under the hashtag #Embrace_Us at the start of the holy month of Ramadan – a time for reflection, increased prayer, patience and good deeds that promote the spirit of social belonging and unity. The short awareness film is also dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Al Shafallah Center.
People with disabilities, their families, organisers and media attended the launching of the film ceremony in large numbers. The prominent dignitaries present among them were namely, Amal bint Abdullatif al-Mannai, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Foundation for Social Work; Dominic Genetti, Vice President and Ventures Manager for ExxonMobil Qatar; and Saleh bin Saad al-Mana, Vice President and Director of Government and Public Affairs for ExxonMobil Qatar.
Seven individuals appear in the film. Abdulaziz, a pianist, appears with his music teacher. Abdulrahman, a singer, appears with his friends – three children with special needs. Ahmad, a footballer, appears with his brother Tamim al-Mehaiz, a famous football player on the Qatari national football team. Kyle, a boy in a wheelchair, appears with his mother. Anfal, a young girl in the park, appears with her teacher Sheikha. Marwa, a girl in Shafallah uniform, appears with her teacher Hoda. Khalifa appears as an employee. He is a Shafallah graduate and works at Katara HR. All the cast is Qatari except Kyle and they belong to prominent Qatari families.
The film highlights the children’s individual talents, nothing is staged or pre-prepared. Shooting took place at Qatari landmarks, including, The Pearl, Katara, Khalifa Stadium and Al Bidda Park.
Speaking on the occasion, Amal bint Abdullatif al-Mannai said: “Al Shafallah Center for Persons with Disability has been supporting children with mental health disabilities for over 20 years. At the heart of our efforts is our belief in a society where all people, regardless of age or disability, are valued and able to live the life they choose.
“This short film emphasises the work we have been doing to help the general public understand the important role individuals with special needs have in our society. It also encourages people to support and provide these individuals with the opportunity to reach their full potential, live normally, work and be productive and active members of our community.
“I would like to thank ExxonMobil Qatar for being our partner on this project, and for sharing our vision for ensuring that people with disabilities of all ages are given a chance to contribute to their communities just like anyone else,” she added.
Dominic Genetti said: “We are pleased to partner with Al Shafallah Center for Persons with Disability on this important initiative, and to help it spread a powerful message that people with disabilities are contributing members of society. At ExxonMobil Qatar, we believe that everyone has something to contribute – people with disabilities are scientists, writers, and innovators, and are capable of taking up important jobs in the labour market and making our workforce stronger.
“We are inspired by all the extraordinary young people who took part in the film – they have highlighted what true community inclusion should mean for society and its future.”
Talking to Community, he said: “It was a pleasure to be here to see the center’s facilities and what they are doing help these wonderful children to thrive and be a part of the society. The purpose of the video really is to promote and raise awareness about the importance of these children being a part of our community and to communicate, to participate and help them integrate in the society.
“I think on the 20th anniversary, Shafallah really demonstrates the wonderful mission of the center and what they have accomplished. The highest measure of civilisation is how we take care of the people with disabilities. This really demonstrates Qatar’s dedication to that mission, to make sure that every person has the opportunity to develop their potential and contribute to the society.”
He added: “At ExxonMobil, we believe that every individual has a tremendous amount of offer. We are part of this initiative to help these children to integrate and be a part of the society. The video is very impress. It is very touching to see the man playing a piano.”
Qommunications, a Qatari communications and public relations agency, is responsible for developing and managing an effective social media influencer’s programme for the film.
“I would like to thank ExxonMobil Qatar and Al Shafallah Center for allowing us to be part of this wonderful and meaningful initiative. We’re honoured to support this message of promoting social inclusion of people with disabilities in Qatar. I encourage all SME’s to think of supporting meaningful CSR initiatives,” said Noora Bu Helaiqa, founder of Qommunications.
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