About Us

History of Al-Waagah

We greet you with the universal greeting of Peace

Al-Waagah, formerly known as Oasis Deaf Society, was established in July 1995.
Initially there were 10 registered Deaf Muslim members.
To date October 2009 we have approximately 200 registered students from all over Cape Town. At our Madrasah there are a regular attendee tally of ± 150 students.

History of Deaf Members

Prior to the establishment of an organization as Al-Waagah the Deaf Muslim community was subject to the teachings of Christianity for over 100 years. That was the only means of education for the Deaf  Muslim community.
Objectives

The objectives of the organization are as follows:

  • To provide a support structure for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the greater Western Cape.
  • To provide  Islamic Knowledge in Sign Language and Total Communication
  • To bridge the communication gap between the Deaf and Hearing community
  • To establish a fully fledged Center that will host a school, a dormitory for out of town learners attending the school, recreation hall, social and welfare and skills development and to have a structure to host our aged in a conducive environment.
  • To provide for early childhood development in Islam for the Deaf and hard of hearing children.
  • To intigrate the hearing into the world of the Deaf

Vision

The Vision of Al-Waagah is to empower all Muslims with hearing disabilities, with the necessary knowledge and skills in order for them to become happy, self sustaining, well balanced, confident, and practicing Muslims. Coupled to that, also to try and integrate them into society with the dignity and respect that each individual deserves. We also strive to eliminate the negative stigmatism attached to the language of the Deaf. Ultimately to establish a secular school for the Deaf Muslims with Islamic ethos Inshallah.

Community Response

The organization is fortunate to have the following committed businesses and individuals rendering a service by way of transport, they are, Mr.N Ismail of Peoples Transport and Mr. M Davids of Wardrobe in Wynberg. Collectively they provide the transport of over 120 learners to and from Madrassah every week with no cost involved.  These services have been provided for since 1997 algamdulillah.

There are occasional donations that are received as well.  Madrassah fees from the learners are not compulsory, due to the socio-economic background of most of our learners.

Three of the members of SANZAF that did the course of Sign Language with us have not continued nor have they completed what is needed to serve as in interpreter. They however will be able in a basic manner to communicate with a Deaf person that is in need of the services that SANZAF offers. We are continuously lobbying for organizations to send their members to come and learn Sign Language.

Strengths

The Deaf membership is highly regarded as strength. Al Waagah the organization is unique in services that they provide for the Deaf in the language of their understanding Sign Language and verbal where needed.

Our teachers, assistants and other members are committed to provide more than just Islamic teaching to the Deaf community.

Although Al-Waagah is not financially stable by any means the teachers has to occasionally work without receiving any payments but they carry on for the love and passion of the cause. What a remarkable bunch of people.

The benevolence of the owners and staff of Peoples Transport that provides us with 5 taxis, twice a day on a Sunday incoming and out going.  Mr. Mogamad Davids of Wardrobe in Wynberg that provides one taxi. The above mentioned service providers does not want the recognition but we feel they render a service that contributes to the consistency of classes, and that is one of the major strengths of AL-Waagah.

Weakness

Al-Waagah has the inability to sustain themselves financially due to the lack of various resources.

Secondly the non interest community displays, primarily due to the lack of verbal communication. The misconception that the Deaf are dumb is a large contributing factor to the weakness.

Needs

The needs of Al-Waagah are as follows:

  • Venue conducive to the above mentioned  objectives and vision.
  • Qualified teachers / Ulama that are capable of developing and implementing a curriculum that will holistically benefit the Deaf
  • Counselors that are able to use Sign Language
  • Affiliation to ulamah body such as the Muslim Judicial Council
  • Recognition and Support of the Community at large

Another area is that some of the Deaf community does not even know their own language. That is largely contributed to the negative stigmatism attached.

Once a month we bring in some experts in the different fields to show our people the trades that are available in the working world. That is our way of assisting the Deaf community in the search for a trade that they can do for sustainability.

But how much can we do in less than three hours once a month and also it takes up of the valuable Madrassah teaching time.

Our teachers are not “qualified teachers” they have made themselves available and Allah makes them capable algamdulillah.

Since September of 2005 Algamdulillah we are using 4 classrooms at the Campus of (IPSA). The International Peace University of South Africa. For the first time since its inception Al-Waagah can operate as a school Algamdulillah.

In 2006 we started Gadj classes for the Deaf started. We have 3 learners that have made Nieyah (intention) to go on Gadj in the near future Insha-Allah.

The most recent project we have embarked on is to bring in hard of hearing young learners and the ones who had the cochlear implants. Focusing on the previously mentioned early childhood development in Islam.

What seems unimportant for the hearing person make up the necessity of the Deaf person.

In closing we would like to mention that we cannot see that this miscommunication, misinterpretation misrepresentation and miss concept continue in the future.

We sincerely hope that this information suffices for the purpose with which it was intended, Inshallah.

Administrator
Comments