Mamoun Odeh turns his suffering into hope for hearing-impaired children

Raša Kanakreh

Amman – “From the womb of suffering comes hope.” This is what the young man, Mamoun Odeh, believed. He lived through difficulties in every detail, but he gave hope to himself and others who suffer from hearing loss like him. Deaf and stupid.
There are many details that Mamoun went through and lived through his good and bad, finding in them the motivation that makes him look for a way to lend a helping hand to many children who suffer from hearing impairment or deafness.
He decided to launch a YouTube channel project “Tamim and Reem” that specializes in these children and those who have lost touch with their environment, to find their way through cartoon characters that learn sign language in simple and fun ways and open the door for them to launch in your environment and your interaction with it.
Young Mamoun (34 years old) has suffered from hearing loss since birth. His awareness of the obstacles that every hearing loss goes through was his motivation to help children living with the same affliction. Therefore, he sought to play a role in facilitating their integration into society with a unique and unprecedented idea and with the help of his wife Heba Jamjoom (36 years old). ) to complete this dream with him.
A couple, Odeh and Jamjoom, decided to create a YouTube channel to teach children sign language, which will be their “mother tongue” and a link to the outside world, as well as translating children’s literature so that information reaches them and they get an education that will benefit them in life.
And they named it “Tamim and Reem” after the names of their two children, because these letters are somewhat easy for the hearing impaired, and whoever searches for the channel will find this welcome message: “To all deaf children of the Arab world, we look forward to serve on a broad level, starting with general information in our environment.. Follow us and hopefully we will come to the translation of Arabic stories into sign language.. You’re welcome.”
The actual posting began a month ago, with simple information that began “My family, four seasons, days of the week and colors” with a simple design of funny cartoon characters in bright colors, thus confirming that simplicity is its title.
The couple found that the simplest and easiest way to reach everyone is to start a YouTube channel that can enter every home with the high prevalence of social networking sites. With the difficulty of getting all families to go to sign language learning centers, this channel was the best way to convince them to subscribe to it.
In an exclusive interview with “Al-Ghad” with the couple, Jamjoom explained how the project had occupied her husband’s mind for years, and it took him almost 4 years to perfect it and launch it, noting that the fatigue of the years quickly disappeared. with the joy of taking the first step which increased his enthusiasm and determination to achieve it.Success.
He adds that Odeh’s joy was indescribable because of this achievement, which is why he quit his job at the publishing house, because he reached the stage where he had an idea, but did not take any steps, stressing that it is a particularly difficult step. when a man has a family that depends on him, but his belief is that he will not progress in this. The path he has always dreamed of and now all his focus is on the channel.
Jamjoom indicates that Odeh came to this life while he was losing his hearing, after his mother had a fever, a “high fever” during pregnancy, which led him to this condition, and he was lucky, unlike others, because of the consciousness of his family and their desire to study him and treat him as a normal child despite his hearing loss. He finished his studies and obtained a bachelor’s degree in graphic design.
Jamjam showed that Odeh’s family gave utmost importance to his education and training by providing an integrated educational process, and they worked hard with him to reach this achievement.
Jamjoom adds that she learned sign language because of him, and it started when the couple met at work in one of the publishing houses where she worked, and she heard about a new young man with hearing loss who started designing. department, and because of work, he questioned her about the titles of some books because of her knowledge of the curricula and what was said inside.
She says, “At that time, when I was answering his questions, I thought he understood the sentences I spoke and wrote.” He proposed to her and she had no problem with him.
During the engagement, Odeh taught her the basic signs that are used every day and that was the beginning. She did not know sign language, but she mastered it in order to communicate with him properly and create a successful married life for them.
She says, “I always look at my husband with pride because he has lost his hearing but he relies on himself and strives to live a normal life despite the challenges and views of some and obstacles but persistence and determination have been the title of his journey in this life.”
Jamjoom points out that Odeh faced a lot of suffering at different stages of his life, which indicates that he is one of the educated and “deaf” people, since many of those with hearing impairments go out into society not understanding how to deal with the environment and people because they did not receive the necessary attention and care.
Jamjoom confirms that the absence of the necessary education, apart from guiding and distinguishing good from bad, has led to them losing their place in society, to losing interaction in the right way, in the absence of the input of appropriate education and upbringing, so that they can live in society without having language of communication.
Jamjoom notes that Odeh has a strong and confident personality and is not afraid to deal with the environment around him, as a person on the edge of life, while most deaf people are afraid of facing the outside world and fear the idea of ​​expressing themselves.
Jamjoom spoke about the “Tamim and Reem” project, that its goal is to help people who are born with hearing loss or have lost “deafness”. He does not hear or understand what he receives from this platform, so he has no input, he only sees movements.
Jamjoom points out that Odeh worked on himself and developed it over 4 years through training by watching some videos on YouTube in English, so he couldn’t hear, and there was no translation or written text at the time of what was said.
It took him a long time to reach mastery, but the insistence on creating an opportunity for children was the motive because they have a greater ability to learn and despite the difficulties he tried to reach this stage, starting to create a cartoon character that moves in sign language, since is that most programs that include this language are intended for real people, not a cartoon character.
Jamjoom points out that they have a lot of aspirations and there is a plan in the coming days to translate YouTube stories by taking over their rights and translating them into sign language to deliver the story to them in their own language. “We decided to teach him in his language.”
Jamjoom was the first supporter and contributor to the idea, especially since no work or project for deaf children was found in this field and everything was limited to news translation only.
“The response is good, and the responses are promising and satisfactory for us now, as a start,” says Jamjoom, but a team is needed to support the idea, adopt it and speed up the video preparation process, because the design is due to her husband Odeh, who works alone. For a duration of no longer than two minutes, he needs from 10 to 13 days with personal effort, but the presence of a work team can help him and increase production.
The couple got a lot of nice reactions that supported the idea and were happy with it, and some families felt that someone had thought of them and helped make the process easier.
On the other hand, Jamjoom works to promote the channel by sharing a post on various social networks explaining the idea and the goal.
The couple have two healthy children, “Tamim and Reem,” and are still working to teach them sign language. Jamjoom deliberately, wherever she is, speaks sign language for the benefit of her children when they grow up, so that they do not feel ashamed or embarrassed, but proud of their father, as well as to inform others that it is a language like other languages. It is a language of communication which solves many problems.
And she confirms that the mother tongue of hearing-impaired people is sign language, and after that they can develop, because it makes it easier for them to learn other languages ​​and makes it easier for them to find their way in society so that they can develop in this life after that.
Jamjoom says: “We are starting from Jordan and we look forward to the future that we will be able to contribute to our Arab country in its education. The idea is not limited only to Jordan, so we try to make the little one enjoy his childhood when he pays attention to what we offer, and to understand and feel that a normal human being like other children.”
Jamjoom concluded her speech by saying that parents are the backbone of these cases and should not ignore the problem, stressing that future plans and aspirations are numerous, leading to the stage of creating curricula that contribute to their educational process in a larger and wider sense. As success comes in small steps, “and we are still at the beginning and we have a long way to go.”
According to the latest statistics of the High Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the number of deaf and hard of hearing people over the age of five is estimated at more than 182,000.

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Part of the YouTube channel “Tamim and Reem” – (from the source)

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