Against odds: beauty saloon by special needs women

SHARJAH - In an endeavour to prove the abilities and productivity of the handicapped in the labour market, a new ladies saloon to be operated by all handicapped women will open in Sharjah next month.

By Lina Abdul Rahman

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Published: Fri 1 Aug 2003, 11:49 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:07 PM

The saloon, to be opened under the aegis of Al Thiqah Handiccaped Club, will be located near Mega Mall, Haider Talib Erabeh, Manager of Al Thiqah Employment and Rehabilitation Project and Member of the Planning and Fund Raising Committee, told Khaleej Times yesterday.

Mr Erabeh said that the saloon is one of the many employment and rehabilitation projects introduced by Al Thiqah Club with the aim of securing a fixed income for the people with physical and mild mental disabilities and try and integrate them into the society.

"We have noticed that the handicapped, particularly women with physical disabilities and mild mental disabilities, are hardly given an opportunity to prove themselves in their workplace. People are sceptical about their potentials. But in reality, handicapped people have succeeded in showing their maximum devotion and willingness to be productive members of the society."

The idea of running and operating a ladies saloon by handicapped women is the first of its kind in the UAE and the Arab world as a whole and follows directives from Shaikh Mohammed bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Director of the Sharjah Medical District and Chairman of the club, Mr Erabeh said.

Four female professionals with relative experience in saloon management have been appointed to train them in the jobs and thereafter assist the handicapped employees in dealing with the customers, Mr Erabeh said.

He added that the handicapped employees will undergo a six-month training on enhancing their skills and how to handle customers. Based on the success of this project, the club plans to open more saloons in the future, he added.

Finding good job opportunities for the people whose conditions deprived them from being part of the employment sector and ending their isolation are among our main goals and our endeavours to change the attitude of the society towards them, Mr Erabeh said, adding that the handicapped should invite respect rather than sympathy.

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