Sara, the deaf Bedouin

On September 28,29,30, the Kamri Theater and Ariella House in Tel Aviv are holding a festival of art by people with disabilities. This is the first festival of its kind in Israel, and it is called “100% Art”.
On Sept. 29, three short movies were shown in the “Visual Sound” track.

One of those movies was about Sara, the deaf Bedouin. Her deafness is hereditary, and she has lots and lots of deaf relatives.

Her primary education was with Jewish deaf children in “Niv” school, Beer Sheva. Her deaf nieces and nephews now have their own class in the local Bedouin primary school. The deaf in her tribe use a Sign Language, which is different from the Israeli Sign Language. Sometimes it was confusing in school.

Anyway, the thing which struck me was the simplicity of her life ambitions. She wants to be the first wife of a Bedouin man, rather than 2nd (or 3rd) wife like her female deaf fellows. She wants to have her job back. And the job was not an engineering one or top level management. It was folding clothes after having been washed in a laundry. She worked in this job and had to leave it for few months due to health reasons. Then she had to struggle with tradition to get her job back. She got her job back and was happy with it. And she did not look to me mentally retarded or so. Just a woman bound by her limited education and limiting tribal traditions.

I wonder whether she is alive today, because near the end of the movie, she mentioned a nice man whom she met at work. And her people have a tradition of “family honor” killings.

When the “Visual Sound” track movies were shown, there were only five people in the auditorium. Two workers who operated the projection equipment, a newspaperman and his girlfriend, and the TDDPirate. Sometime in middle, the journalist and his girlfriend had to leave. At the end, the TDDPirate exchanged quips with the two workers and left the auditorium. Apparently there was insufficient public relations effort.

Author: Omer Zak

I am deaf since birth. I played with big computers which eat punched cards and spew out printouts since age 12. Ever since they became available, I work and play with desktop size computers which eat keyboard keypresses and spew out display pixels. Among other things, I developed software which helped the deaf in Israel use the telephone network, by means of home computers equipped with modems. Several years later, I developed Hebrew localizations for some cellular phones, which helped the deaf in Israel utilize the cellular phone networks. I am interested in entrepreneurship, Science Fiction and making the world more accessible to people with disabilities.