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Al Manarah - Association for Arab Persons with Disabilities

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Social Development

Affiliation with other organizations: The Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) is a coalition of 85 organizations (NGOs), who promote people-to-people coexistence between Arabs and Jews, Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East. Al Manarah is a member of the Advisory Committee to the Commission for Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities in Israel, where we also have a representative on the board. Al Manarah has associate membership of the JDC-Israel Committee for changing attitudes toward people with disabilities in Arab society.
Publications: The Al Manarah publishes its guide for disabled living entitled ‘The Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Arab Community’. This disability rights reference booklet is the first and only one of its kind, and is written in clear concise Arabic, in an informal manner to be accessible for the entire community. It will be published and distributed to the community of disabled Arab persons living in Israel to help them live independent lives. The timing of producing this new edition is apt due to Israel’s 2012 ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), as well as Israel’s development of new domestic laws such as Accessibility to Schools, Accessibility to Public Transport, Access to New Public Buildings, and amendments to existing laws, such employment conditions and National Insurance.
Purpose of the organization: As a grassroots Arab organisation based and founded in Nazareth in 2005, and led by Arab persons with disabilities, Al Manarah is very much part of the community. It is well placed to work with, empower, and advocate for disabled persons, and push for an inclusive and participatory democracy. Through cooperative advocacy, strategic litigation, and awareness raising, Al Manarah works with the disabled of Israel’s Arab community so they can participate and contribute to society as equal citizens. Our work enhances cooperation between civil society actors from all communities, advocating for equality and providing legal leverage for the enforcement of international and domestic disability rights law. We are nonpartisan, working with many groups and organisations, and we aim to improve the lives of disabled persons in Israel by creating an inclusive society, and so improving the lives of all of Israel’s citizens.
Activities relevant to the conference of States Parties to the convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Al-Manarah has formed a partnership with the Arab Association for Human Rights (HRA) in the Disability Rights for Palestinians in Israel program. The proposed program empowers both disabled persons and youth within the Palestinian community and State of Israel. It strengthens the roles of the participants as non-state actors by creating an enabling environment, increasing the involvement of its participants. The national advocacy section of the proposed program focuses on building dialogue with the parliament and the broader community in Israel. This promotes the involvement of non-state actors in policy dialogue and increase the interaction between the participants and authorities at the national level. Our objectives promote the rights of disabled persons as a minority of a minority, being disabled Palestinian Arabs in the State of Israel. This program also promotes respect for human rights and international humanitarian law. The 2012 Israeli ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) (2007) means that the State will submit reports on the issue to the treaty body. This is the first time comprehensive accurate information regarding disabilities in Israel will be available. Therefore, in the international advocacy section of the program an expert is preparing a position paper on the issue that will be submitted to the relevant human rights bodies and will advocate for the rights of disabled Arabs in Israel in light of the ratification.
Confirmation of the activities of the organization at the regional, national or international level: We have worked in consultation with Prof. Michael Stein of Harvard Law School on a number of key disability related issues and programs. He can be contacted at mastain@law.harvard.edu Additionally Al Manarah works with Prof. Arlene Kanter on our disability and legal advocacy projects, and have done so since 2011. Prof. Kanter can be contacted at kantera@law.syr.edu Al Manarah has also worked with Prof. Arie Rimmerman on a number of social and disability related issues in Israel. Prof. Rimmerman can be contacted at rimmer@research.haifa.ac.il
A list of members of the governing body of the organization, and their countries of nationality: Al-Manarah's Board includes seven professionals, who are great believers in Al-Manarah's vision and who work to ensure the organization achieves its goals. Ms. Lina Zou'bi - Chairperson. Lina has a B.A in Statistics and Sociology from Haifa University and is also a graphic designer who advises on the design of all Al-Manarah's publications. Dr. Sami Debeeny is a clinical psychologist and lecturer at Haifa’s Academic Arab College for Education. Sami works to develop Al-Manarah’s public relations, and conducts lectures on developing the image of persons with visual disabilities in Israel. Sami works as one of our telephone assistance line volunteers. He also assists Abbass in fundraising in the local business community. Mr. Khader Shama is an Oud player and music teacher with 20 years experience. He advices on the organization of Al-Manarah's cultural activities. Ms. Nasreen Jabareen is an education consultant and social worker. She is active in AlManarah’s Fostering Social Awareness program and networking with other civil society organizations. Mr. Issam Khatib has a BA in Arabic & Education from Haifa University, and is a former school principal. Issam advices in networking with schools and the Ministry of Education, and on public relations. He has participated in many of our activities from the beginning, and is very active in our practical activities . Ms. Ahlam Onallah is a school secretary in Nazareth. She is a parent of a blind child and is very enthusiastic about ensuring Al-Manarah achieves its goals. Like Issam, Ahlam has been a loyal supporter for years, and also advices on public relations. Adv. Iaman Khatib has an LLM in Law from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University and a BA in Accounting. Iaman is our former Legal Advocacy Coordinator, and was so inspired with the program that he decided to continue volunteering with Al-Manarah using his legal and financial experience.
Description of the membership of the organization, indicating the total number of members: Al Manarah is not a membership based organisation.