Watch: Popular 'Voice of Dubai' artist teams up with autistic children, helps them create their own 'audio brands'

Sonic branding initiative gives unique creative outlet for children of determination during Autism Awareness Month


Mazhar Farooqui

Published: Wed 12 Apr 2023, 4:12 PM

Last updated: Wed 12 Apr 2023, 6:15 PM

As the world marks Autism Awareness Month this April, Dubai-based voice-over artist Ahmed Haffar has teamed up with local charity Heroes of Hope to give autistic children a chance to create music. The initiative involves creating a four-second melody, known as sonic branding, with each child, providing a unique opportunity for them to express themselves creatively.

At Mindloops Studio, Haffar worked with Saif, a 14-year-old autistic child, to write and sing his own rap. The lyrics, "I do what I do best. I keep track of the rest. I upgrade my own time. I live my own life," were simple but empowering.

Saif's mother beamed with pride as Saif performed his creation, promising to return and expand the song to a full two minutes. “I am so proud of him, He always loved music, but he’s never had the chance to express himself like before,” she said. “I did my song in just 40 seconds,” said Saif.

Another child, Ali, found joy in creating a melody that incorporated his favourite sounds. “I love football, and video games, and my friends make me happy. So we put those sounds together,” said the 10-year-old as he put on his headphones and stood behind a stood behind a microphone in the acoustic glass partition, his face lit up with excitement.

Research has been shown that music can be a beneficial therapy for people with autism, helping them develop communication and social skills. According to the World Health Organization, approximately one in every 160 children has an autism spectrum disorder.

Haffar, known as Voice of Dubai, believes that music is a bridge between emotions and sounds. He said, "I am all about sounds and self-expression, so I thought to take music, the personality, and character of autistic kids and create something distinctive that these children could call their own."

Hollie Murphy, founder of Heroes of Hope praised the initiative saying, “This is a fantastic example of how music can play a role in promoting inclusivity and giving a voice to people with autism. We are so proud to be part of it.”

Heroes of Hope, whose motto is "Believers & Achievers," is committed to creating opportunities for athletes of determination of all ages and ability levels. "We believe that every athlete deserves a chance to reach their full potential, and we're honoured to be able to support them and their families along the way," said Murphy.


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