AlManarah , which means ‘Lighthouse’, was initiated in May 2005 and led by a group of Arab blind and visually impaired individuals. AlManarah is the first Arab organization of its kind that seeks to advance the status of Arab persons who have a visual disability in Israel.
AlManarah fosters social awareness and works towards changing perceptions beyond the inherited stereotypes and stigmas common among Arab society towards people who are blind and visually-impaired. AlManarah’s work includes extensive workshops and seminars and the distribution of relevant materials in order to open the Arab society to their world. By creating empowerment groups of Arab blind and visually impaired people and their parents from different regions, AlManarah also develops leaders who are active in working towards changing attitudes and misconceptions associated with blindness in the Arab society.
Furthermore, AlManarah advocates on behalf of Arab individuals who are blind and visually-impaired to ensure accessibility for all and to protect the inalienable rights given equally to all citizens, including filing appeals and lawsuits in Israeli courts.
Each year more than 2,500 school children and adults from the Arab-Israeli community are exposed to information regarding blindness and blindness related services through AlManarah’s activities. Hundreds of Arab Israeli individuals who are blind or visually impaired receive services from AlManarah each year.
AlManarah paves a new road toward a social change, which will firmly post people who are blind and visually impaired Arabs at the center of society’s life and present them as persons with unique abilities.