YEARS
The Royal Academy of Science International Trust
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Mute International
I have been introduced to the Deaf Community since I was a kid, because my younger sister Zeina was born with hard to hear problems.  She could
not hear me, and I always had difficulties in communicating with her, we even could not play together because Zeina had her own friends, MUTE like
her.  

I decided to do my best to help my sister Zeina and her friends, so I joined one of the charities in my home country – Lebanon, as a volunteer. I
learned the sign Language, and had lots of friends from the MUTE Community.

Having the opportunity to be an activist in the field of helping Deaf and Hard hearing people since the year 2000, I realized the more the world is
advanced the more Deaf people having NO civil rights in Lebanon and many other Middle Eastern & North African Countries.  In fact, and unlike
developed countries like USA, Deaf people in the MENA Region particularly in my country Lebanon have NO life: to be a deaf means no education, no
employment, no entertainment, no one understands them in hospitals or even at any governmental institutions. Thus, Deaf People are second class
or even lower class citizens.  Not only that, the Deaf Sign Language in Arab countries differs from city to another, even within a small country like
Lebanon.  Furthermore, Deaf People are not granted necessary access to public places, simply because no one can understand them!

Through my search, I found that such difficulties are not only in my home country or MENA Region states, but rather they are everywhere around the
world particularly in developing countries.  There are a lot of organizations and charities worldwide working on providing services and advice for Deaf
and their families.  In my opinion this is not enough, there is more needed to be done. Deaf people like my sister Zeina deserve more: They are not
disabled; they are normal people with hearing impairment; they have a voice that should be heard.  

Therefore, we at the Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT) and through its MUTE International Program are working to promote,
protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by all Deaf and Hard Hearing persons, and to promote
respect for their inherent dignity, and to ensure Persons with Hearing sensory impairments, which in interaction with various barriers, may hinder
their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.  

We will be the Voice of the unheard people at national, regional, and international levels.  As an affiliated member of the United Nations, RASIT will
work hand in hand with the UN and its agencies to create a stronger and more resilient international platform to the tough challenges that face deaf
and hard hearing individuals worldwide, with a particular support for those in developing countries.  

Through its radical and visionary expertise and strategic plan, RASIT believes that it will have a direct impact on drawing a new future for the Deaf and
Hard Hearing Community.  This is the main drive and determination behind “MUTE International” Program.  
Khaled Chahine
STATEMENT BY THE PROGRAM MANAGER
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