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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King Abdullah inaugurates new facility at Holy Land Institute for the Deaf
Amman, 17 November 2009

His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday inaugurated a new building at the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf, which serves as a vocational training facility for students.

Established in 1964 as a nonprofit educational institution for the hearing impaired in the city of Salt, the institute currently provides different educational programmes as well as rehabilitation services for around 155 students aged between six and 18.

The King, who was accompanied by Chief Chamberlain His Royal Highness Prince Raad, Royal Court Chief Nasser Lozi and the King's Adviser Ayman Safadi, toured the workshops, which offer a wide range of courses in ceramics, metallurgy, weaving, embroidery, wood craftsmanship and cookery.

The new building, built with a donation from the wife of the late Ahmad Samawi, includes a display area and store to showcase and sell the handicrafts.

Underlining the importance of the new facilities, the institute's administrative manager, Eyad Sweis, said the training courses seek to empower female students to find employment as soon as they graduate.

Sewing teacher Jamilah Tawhidi said the workshops will allow larger numbers of students to receive training in sewing and embroidery to help them find jobs. According to official figures, there are 10 societies for the deaf in the Kingdom, supervised by the Social Development Ministry, with around 750 beneficiaries aged six to 18.

In addition, 10 schools for 800 hearing impaired students are supervised by the Education Ministry throughout the country. The Higher Council for the Affairs of Persons with Disabilities provides 90 per cent of the cost of hearing aids for these students.