The Renowned Lebanese Actor George Khabbaz Hosts 50 Deaf to Watch His Play Titled “We Are Not Different”
The first activity for MUTE International Program in the Republic of Lebanon was held on June 8th 2013, by
inviting 50 MUTE people to watch the play of the renowned Lebanese actor George Khabbaz titled “We are
Not Different”.  

This activity aimed to attract the general public attention of the civil rights of DEAF and Hard of Hearing
people. Through the activity RASIT also aimed to aware the Lebanese as well as Arab societies of the DEAF
and Hard of Hearing people situation and concerns in the community, and their entitlement to enjoy movies
and plays like their hearing peers.   

George Khabbaz who is a civil activist accepted the idea of hosting MUTE people.  At the theatre, MUTE
individuals’ seats were allocated with the rest of audiences.  At the beginning and before the show started,
the audience was surprised and amazed to the presence of the deaf, and started asking: how they will hear?

The Show began, and Bilal Ezzo, a member of the MUTE International Program in Lebanon, started to
translate the dialogue and songs in the sign language: the language that relies on the movement of the
hands and lips.

The reactions of the deaf did not differ from the rest of the audience, said Mr. Khalid Chahine MUTE
International Program Manager: "as seen deaf laughed with rest of audience on jokes and comments, and
applauded the acting casts, thus MUTE people were like the rest of the audience who enjoys the hearing
sense”.  Chahine continued: “This is the first event of its kind in Lebanon, deaf engagement with the general
public without any barriers .. It is the right of deaf people to enjoy life: theater, television and cinema
programs, this right is taken from them not only in Lebanon but in the rest of Arab states.. In such countries
including Lebanon the Deaf community cannot go to restaurants or entertainment venues because the
public does not understand their language: the sign language, thus Deaf people are isolated in their
societies .. Today is the beginning of a long way of advocacy in Lebanon and the rest of Arab States ..
Today we were able to give deaf their right to life, this is the message of RASIT and its program MUTE
International.. We at RASIT will work hard to achieve MUTE people the equality in civil rights with their
hearing peers through our activities that we are working on”.

At the end of the show, Ms. Mona Bou Alia addressed the audience about the MUTE International Program,
and said: "Mr. George Khabbaz believed in the civil rights of deaf and announced today to all of you that
deaf and hearing people are the same therefore we are not different”.   

Then she introduced RASIT Executive Director HRH Princess Nisreen El-Hashemite to present RASIT Merit
Award to Mr. Khabbaz.  In her speech Princess El-Hashemite stressed on the role of art in developing
human thinking, and the artists’ responsibility in calling for peace respect and civil rights of all people
regardless of their disability, “everyone has a disability: some people cannot read, others cannot do the job
perfectly, and so on.. it is time to look at every human being equally.. George Khabbaz Thank you for
supporting our cause”.     

Then George Khabbaz expressed his sincere gratitude and appreciation for the work RASIT is conducting in
Lebanon and the rest of the region, and spoke to his audience about the rights of the deaf and the role of
civil society to support them, afterward he concluded by saying for the Deaf: "You are blessed because you
do not hear the noises that we hear in this society”.   

At the end, a group of deaf greeted George Khabbaz and thanked him in their own language: the sign
language.  
The Show ended by deaf taking pictures with the artists.  
The deaf saluted RASIT and its team for organizing this event for them. With a smile drawing on their faces
they all said one sentence: "Today, we felt that we exist in our country Lebanon, today we felt that we are
like every person in this country."
Activities
YEARS
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