Muscat – To mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth will host an annual festival dedicated to persons with disabilities from November 27 to December 3 in Muscat.
Observed every year on December 3, the day is promoted by the United Nations for action to ensure inclusivity and equality.
Ziana Abdullah al Yarabi, festival director, said that the fourth edition of the festival is designed to empower professionals working with disabled individuals through training to nurture athletic talent and identify those with exceptional abilities for potential inclusion in national the Paralympic team.
The festival aims to facilitate integration of people with disabilities into society and highlight issues pertinent to them.
“The objective of the festival extends to building a society that is socially and economically cohesive, with special focus on promoting physical and sports activities among people with disabilities for their well-being and leisure,” Ziana added. She emphasised the festival’s alignment with Oman Vision 2040, aspiring to foster competitiveness in national and international sports events.
The event schedule is diverse, featuring educational workshops, awareness campaigns, cultural and sports events and entertainment, besides excursions to tourist spots. A key element of the festival will be a symposium addressing the challenges faced by people with disabilities, with an aim to propose – and later implement – effective recommendations and initiatives.
The festival will feature an array of sports, such as bocce, goalball, basketball, football for the deaf and bowling. It will also include an entrepreneurship exhibition by people with disabilities, an art and photography exhibition, and musical performances by various artists.
Hamoud bin Salim al Jabri, vice-chairman of the festival’s main committee, informed that the event will include of all categories of disabilities, families of persons with disabilities and industry professionals.
An estimated 1,400 participants, including individuals with disabilities, technicians and administrators are expected to attend.
Jabri highlighted the participation of multiple ministries and organisations, including the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Education, Association of Early Intervention for Children with Disability, Oman Association for the Hearing Impaired, Al Noor Association for the Blind, and Oman Special Olympics Association. The festival will also feature international lecturers, sign language interpreters, medical personnel and sports referees.
“The festival is a step towards fostering a spirit of community and support throughout Omani society, spotlighting the aspirations and needs of people with disabilities, ensuring their continuous integration and providing ongoing support,” Jabri added.