As part of the annual campaign to raise awareness of autism
Dubai Autism launches the ‘Autism Murals’ initiative
Dubai | April 09, 2023: Within the framework of the annual autism awareness campaign, which was launched earlier this month under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, with the slogan “Towards an Autism-friendly Community”, Her Excellency Hessa Buhumaid, Director General of the Community Development Authority in Dubai, witnessed the inauguration of the ‘Autism Murals’ initiative.
This came during a live mural painting event performed by children of the Dubai Autism Center, in which a number of government officials participated in the presence of the students’ parents and a number of the Board of Directors of the Dubai Autism Center.
The ‘Autism Murals’ initiative, launched by the Dubai Autism Center under the supervision of a group of local, Arab and foreign artists, aims to transform the walls of buildings into artistic paintings that carry awareness messages about autism and reveal the talents and creativity of people with autism.
As an expression of support for this initiative, Her Excellency Hessa Buhumaid said that the annual campaign for autism awareness is an important occasion to enhance community awareness of the needs of people with autism and how to respect and provide these needs, allowing them opportunities for development and better integration into society in line with the leadership’s vision and direction for a friendly and empowering community for people of determination. She affirmed that people with autism have many distinctive and exceptional abilities and talents that make them able to express their differences and desires, which gives the ‘Autism Murals’ initiative a special position, because it provides us with the opportunity to listen to them and communicate with them in a way we love.
“We are participating in the initiative today in the presence of a group of children with autism from the Dubai Early Child Development Centre, which is affiliated with CDA, in addition to a number of talented and distinguished people with autism in various fields, along with their parents, confirming that they are the best ones who can efficiently carry awareness messages, and that we, as individuals and institutions, shall develop ourselves and our work methodologies to provide them with everything that would guarantee their rights to inclusion and empowerment,” Her Excellency added.
Her Excellency Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), affirmed that art is a unique language that allow community members to communicate with others expressively, saying: “The mission of the arts is no longer limited to the aesthetic aspect only, but its role expands to treatments as it has become integrated and accredited into different such programmes and methods that contribute to enabling individuals to unleash their creativity.”
Badri added: “The ‘Autism Murals’ initiative launched by the Dubai Autism Center reveals the importance of art and its therapeutic role. Such murals are unique in their ability to elevate societal taste, and are distinguished by their ideas and awareness messages about autism. Besides their psychological and societal effects, these murals help discover distinguished autistic talent to enable them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively to our society.”
Badri expressed her happiness at the cooperation between Dubai Culture and the Dubai Autism Center, highlighting the Authority’s support for the activities of the annual campaign aimed at raising awareness of autism. The initiative also has the support of Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children and Dubai Culture’s Culture & Heritage Sector as awareness partners, embodying the Authority’s commitment to its social responsibility, and contributing to strengthening its humanitarian message and supporting all community members.
Mohammed Al Emadi, Director General of the Dubai Autism Center said: “Since its establishment, Dubai Autism Center has sought to enhance community awareness of autism by using innovative educational means. Our new ‘Autism Murals’ initiative aims to highlight the creative skills of children with autism with the support of a group of volunteer painters who harnessed their skills and tools to participate in drawing with children with autism.”
Al Emadi expressed his appreciation to the Community Development Authority in Dubai and the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority for supporting this initiative, praising the efforts of the ZeeArts volunteer team, which consists of a group of fine artists who used their skills and tools to participate in drawing with children with autism.
Al Emadi also praised the distinguished media role of the ‘Balsam’ show from Noor Dubai Radio for their keenness to cover the activities and initiatives of the annual autism awareness campaign, stressing the importance of joining the efforts of individuals and community institutions in achieving the goals of the National Policy for Empowering People of Determination in a qualified environment that gives them the opportunity to unleash their energies and prove their capabilities.
Launched earlier this month, the 17th annual autism awareness campaign aims to emphasize the significance of creating an autism-friendly community that facilitates accessibility to the services offered by public and private institutions in line with the “My Community… a City for Everyone” initiative that aims to establish a culture of inclusion among all members of society and promote Dubai’s transformation into a city that is friendly for people of determination.