Syrian Kurdistan opens first school for blind

A school for the blind (visually impaired) is opened in the city of Kobani, in northeast Syria.

KOBANI, Syrian Kurdistan (K24) – On Tuesday, the Autonomous Administration of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), in collaboration with several humanitarian organizations, has opened a school for the visually impaired (blind) in the city of Kobani, in northeast Syria.

In the devastated city, Tirej Organization for People with Special Needs opened the first school of its kind since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

Suleiman Mahmoud, a school supervisor who is blind and holds two Bachelor Degrees in Politics and Law from Damascus University, told K24 on Tuesday, that the goal of this school is to teach visually impaired students that though tasks may be difficult, they are not impossible.

“When students learn that their teacher is blind, yet holds two degrees, this will raise their morale,” Mahmoud said.

Mahmoud added that computer skills and Kurdish language courses are taught in the school, which has four rooms and fifteen students. “The staff includes three administrative employees and two teachers, and students attend two hours [of class] a day,” he said.

Mahmoud further noted that students learn the Braille technique, a tactile writing system used by the visually impaired and sight challenged.

Ahmad Abdy, one of the new eager students, said, “I thought that the blind cannot do anything, but when I heard that there is a school, and our teacher is professional, though blind, I was encouraged to join the school.”


Reporting by Hisham Arafat

Editing by Benjamin Kweskin

(Redwan Bezar contributed to this report from Kobani)