Silent adulation … 12 years of intermediary interpretation, life struggles

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KUWAIT CITY, May 1: A strange scene it might be when a sixty-year-old person, casually dressed, arrives at a famous coffee shop and met by silent adulation. Yes, you have read that right, silent adulation might be an adequate term to describe 12 years of intermediary interpretation by one Bader Doukhi and his company of individuals with hearing loss. This curious sight had brought KUNA into the picture to see what was happening exactly and the findings were plentiful.

Hand movements and facial expressions are essential elements of sign language

Doukhi had been teaching the group sign language since they were his students at the Amal school, which he retired from years ago. However, this did not mean that the bond between teacher and students ended, they remained close to this day, meeting on a regular basis for chitchat and brainstorming means to resolve issues facing the deaf in Kuwait.

One of Doukhi’s company is Abdulmohshen Al-Shimmari, a high-school student, which owed a lot to his mentor. He said that Doukhi was one of the motivators for him to seek education in the US in the future, revealing that he was eager to become a director in television and film to relate the struggles of the deaf community in Kuwait.

Another student is Jaber Al-Kanderi who became deaf at the age of two after a car hit him. This led to a malfunction in the auditory nerves and led him to become they way he is. “There is an increasing need for intermediary interpreters and they should be included in every government facility,” conveyed Al- Kanderi in sign language. Companies providing sign language services were also appreciated in cooperation with the state if possible, said Al-Kanderi. He indicated that the lack of intermediary interpreters might led to grave consequences on all levels of life especially in case of accidents or medical emergencies when communicating with a deaf person was crucial.

While there is struggle for those with hearing loss, Doukhi interpreted the story of one AbduIlah Al-Rushaid who was tingled by artistic tendencies since he was young. Al-Rushaid hoped that his talent would turn heads and bring attention to the vast talents of the deaf community. Al-Rushaid became a member of the Kuwait arts association in 2006 and managed to open an exhibition in none other than Spain in 2007.

Back to Doukhi, the intermediary interpreters indicated that sign language evolved like any other language, noting that the language saw some rapid advances during the COVID-19 pandemic. He reiterated that interpreters in Kuwait must be updated on the newest terms sign language-wise to serve the estimated 5,000 hearing challenged individuals according to statistics by Public Authority for Disability Affairs (PADA). Doukhi and co might be a prime example of a band of brothers that are meeting life challenges head first, refl ecting a strong desire to “keep on keeping on” no matter what occurs. (By Mohammad Abu Bakr – KUNA)

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