A different kind of football match

© MeiTeng - sxc.hu

During a regular football match, one would expect to hear fans shouting loudly while players called out to each other to pass the ball. But in the town of Beit Lahia in the Gaza strip, some footballers are playing different kind of game.

In this football stadium all the fans and players are deaf. Instead of shouting and whistling, the referees use colorful flags and the players keep their eyes on the flags to indicate whether there is a foul, or corner kick or a penalty kick.

Ibrahim al-Kaseeh, a member in a Gaza-based organization which represents deaf, explains: "It’s a first of its kind, to merge deaf people in the community. We simply want the society to respect them because they are people who love life."

There are 25,000 deaf people in the Gaza Strip, where most don't receive proper treatments for their condition. There is a high number of disabled people in Gaza which is related to intermarriage of close relatives and a lack of medical care when their mothers are pregnant.

The Palestinian law for disabled people includes a series of provisions to meet the social, human and economic needs of deaf people. Official ministries and institutions are also required to have five percent disabled Palestinians as part of their total work force.

Source: Xinhua

Rose Simpson