Al Tiqah Handicap Club in Sharjah
The Dubai International Rehabilitation Forum Rehab was inaugurated by Obeid Al Tayer, chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI). The annual event, which seeks to bring disability and rehabilitation issues into spotlight as well as showcase the latest rehabilitation products and services.
Jointly organised by the Dubai Club for the Handicapped and the Indes Conferences and Exhibtitions Organisations Establishment, Rehab targets a severely disabled Arab population exceeding 10 million. The event is held under the patronageof Dubai Deputy Ruler and the UAE Minister for Finance and Industry Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It is also being supported by the Dubai Municipality, Department of Health and Medical Services (DoHMS) and the Minister of Labour & Social Affairs. The motto of Rehab 2004 was Inclusion with Independence.
Dubai is hosting the "Rehab 2004," a conference that according to the chairman of the organizing committee is said to be, "the only event of its kind in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The goal of Rehab 2004 is to improve the quality of life for disabled people of the Middle East region. Dubai has every intention of becoming the aviation and tourism hub the Middle East and as such, have designed a new and more accessible airport equipped with special accessible taxi / vans and is improving accessibility in hotels as well as public buildings. There's even a large rehabilitation complex being constructed on land that has been donated His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Minister of Defense. Being relatively new to industrialization and rich in finances, Dubai has been fortunate in that it is easier to make accessible alterations to existing buildings as opposed to older cities like Florence and Rome which are famous for their ancient architecture.
According to disabled advocates in Dubai, Dubai has at least 35,000 disabled people of which 14,000 are severely handicapped. As is the case in many countries, the majority of the disabled population is kept indoors, for fear of public opinion and pity. However, it is events like Rehab 2004 that allow the disabled population to connect with each other and to learn more about the products available to them in order to make life easier. There are vendors from each continent, selling and teaching the participants how their respective product/services or organization is making a marked difference in the lives of the disabled.
While in Dubai, we were invited to the adjoining city of Sharjah to tour the brand new and famtastoc Al Thiqah Club for the Handicapped. Believe it or not, this is the most accessible gymnasium/health club we have ever visited. Fully accessible bathrooms, showers, weight room, modern fitness equipment, even a swimming pool with a regulation ramp can be found on the grounds of this establishment. The members get to enjoy basketball (indoor and outdoor courts), table tennis, Aikido, tennis, chess, swimming, and track and field.. The club began in 1985 in a one small building, but in June of 1999 His Highness Sheikh Doctor Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, the ruler of Sharjah, commissioned the new complex. Membership is free for the disabled, and $50.00 per month for others interested in utilizing the facilities (a bit expensive).
Our sincere thanks are extended to Mr. Majhid and Mr. Abas Salem for his invitation to Rehab 2004 and to be guests by the Al Thiqah Handicap Club in Sharjah. Much appreciation is extended to representatives from the Al Thiqah Club for enlightening us on the possibilities for the disabled. Thank you to all of our new friends in Dubai and Sharjah and the rest of the world.
Al Tiqah Club for handicapped in Sharjah!
The UAE were second behind Tunisia, beating the US into third place, at the World Wheelchair Games held at Stoke Mandeville in the UK. The six-member team, trained by Al Tiqah Club for the Handicapped in Sharjah, returned home with two gold, two silver and three bronze medals. They also added another two gold and two silver medals at the Nottingham International Championships. There, the gold medallists, Ali Khambar Ali (winner of the 200.0 metres) and Ahmed Saif Zal (winner of the 800.0 metres) became World Champions in their respective categories.
A beaming Mohammed bin Hindi, General Secretary of Al Tiqah Club, told the Gulf News that the team had come a long way from the time they first participated in local championships. They had moved slowly on to Arab championships and had competed in an international event for the first time in 1995, in Belgium.
There, three athletes - Naseeb Obaid Saif and Hassan Ali Abdullah - qualified for the Atlanta Paralympics. "Encouraged by this performance, they went for the first time to the World Wheelchair Games at Stoke Mandeville last year," bin Hindi said. They returned home with nine medals: five golf, one silver and three bronze.
This year, the youngsters bettered their own performances at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Hamid Hassan, who took the gold for the discus throw this year, scored 16.16 metres against last year's throw of 10.42 metres. Majid Abdullah Murshid, whose shotput throw of 2.75 metres gained him the golf, bettered himself at the discus throw, bagging the bronze at 10.98 metres against last year's 10.24 metres. Hamid also brought home a silver in the javelin throw and a bronze in his first attempt at shotput. Ali Ibrahim, who was competing in an international event for the first time, won a bronze in weightlifting. (The Gulf News)
Our sincere thanks are extended to Mr. Majid and Mr. Abas Salem for his invitation to Rehab 2004 and to be guests by the Al Thiqah Handicap Club in Sharjah.
Much appreciation is extended to representatives from the Al Thiqah Club for enlightening us on the possibilities for the disabled.
Thank you to all of our new friends in Dubai and Sharjah and the rest of the world. God bless you!