Monday, September 14, 2015

"A Blessing in Disguise" 

As Family Flavours celebrates turning 9 this month, I look back at some of my favourite magazine covers. This December 2012 cover of the Qushair family is special to me as they share with us that “having a child with special needs in your family is a blessing in disguise”. 

Diagnosed with Global Development Delay (GDD) at just 8 months, Rakan inspires all those around him. “Having a child with special needs in your family is a blessing in disguise!,” say Rakan's parents Serene and Ramzi Qushair. “We see it as a positive journey that is full of experiences, people and a new appreciation of life.”

As active members of SANA For Special Individuals, a non-profit organisation providing support to families affected by disabilities, Serene and Ramzi firmly stand by the idea that raising awareness and acceptance of children like Rakan is crucial to their integration into society.

Yanal enjoys playing guitar for his brother Rakan, who is a budding music-lover,
while Yasmine enjoys reading to Rakan

One of the ways that Family Flavours is unique in the realm of magazines locally and worldwide is in its embracing of diversity, including children and adults of different abilities and disabilities. While magazines typically Photoshop images to erase wrinkles, bulges and scars, Family Flavours portrays families as they really are.

Lina Masri, national coordinator of Faith and Light Jordan, tells Family Flavours, “Everywhere now, people have to be intelligent, attractive and strong to be loved," Lina once told me. At Faith and Light, people are loved as they are and have the opportunity to recognise and use their gifts and discover the joy of friendship.

In June 2015, Prince Mir’ed bin Ra’ad, President of the Higher Council for Affairs of People with Disabilities (HCD), tells Family Flavours, “Inclusion is important for all of us – people with disabilities and people without.”

The International Community School is a pioneer in inclusive education in Jordan. According to former Principal John Bastable, whose term in Jordan just ended, "Schools play an important role for people with and without disabilities. We learn from the challenges of others. School is about much more than reading, writing, maths and science. It’s about learning to be a decent human being.”

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