[Art_beyond_sight_educators] Photography in Egypt - Blind with a vision

fnugg at online.no fnugg at online.no
Fri May 6 07:47:47 UTC 2011


Article about a photography course in Egypt.


"When photographers find a good picture, they get their cameras and 
shoot. But what if they cannot see? One group of blind photography 
students has begun to answer this question.

Tareq El-Shennawi, 41, public relations coordinator at the Taha Hussein 
Hall in Cairo University's new central library, is blind, and although 
he is not a student he was enthusiastic to learn photography with blind 
students at a workshop held in the library. El-Shennawi plays different 
sports and has a diploma in diving: although he is blind, this is not 
going to stop him from enjoying photography.

"It helps psychologically when I feel I am doing something like other 
people," El-Shennawi confided to /Al-Ahram/ /Weekly/ in an interview. 
"It motivates me when other people feel I have the right to do what they 
do," and he criticised the idea that a physically challenged person 
necessarily has limited abilities.

"I was wary at first, because I didn't know how to teach blind people 
photography when this is mainly based on vision," said Riham Zaki, 27, 
assistant teacher in the educational media department at the Faculty of 
Specific Education at Cairo University and the workshop trainer. In 
order to find out more, Zaki started to read about photography for the 
blind, discovering that such people can use other senses, such as smell, 
touch and hearing, to help them take photographs.

The idea behind the workshop was the brainchild of professor Fifi Zallat 
from the Faculty of Art Education, Zaki said, explaining that Zallat had 
approached her because she was looking for someone specialising in mass 
communication who also taught photography. As a result, Zallat 
approached Zaki, who then participated with other trainers in a workshop 
at the Saad Zaghloul Cultural Centre. Following the success of this 
workshop, Zaki volunteered to train students at the Taha Hussein Hall."



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