Social Issues

Series sheds light on struggles for people with disabilities in Egypt

Cairo, Apr 20 (EFE).- Case 404, a series starring people with disabilities, sheds the light on the exploitation, sexual abuse and verbal violence this section society suffers in Egypt.

The fifteen-episode show premiered two weeks ago on social media as it could not be aired on TV channels, which race to broadcast big productions during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“The series is the first project of the ‘Parallel World’ initiative, which is dedicated to integrating people with disabilities into audiovisual art,” director and promoter of the initiative Mohamed al Ansari told Efe.

The 32-year-old came up with the idea while doing free commercials for local NGOs that work with people with disablilities.

“We thought of doing a project to raise awareness that would address their problems and sufferings for the media, since the media have a greater influence on society,” Al-Ansari said.

The series, which features 24 actors with disabilities, mirrors the society’s point of view towards this group that suffers harassment, sexual abuse, exploitation and a lack of opportunities.

The dramatic content emerged from meetings with over 300 families of people with disabilities which revealed that the two most frequent problems of this group are “harassment and labor exploitation,” the director said.

The title of the series refers to the error message that pops up on electronic devices.

“We want to convey that society needs to change its vision towards the disabled,” he added.

The situation of this sector of the population was rarely publicly addressed in the country before president Abdelfatah al-Sisi officially declared 2018 the year of people with disabilities.

The series, which faced financial issues, is “a real opportunity to show society their abilities,” Said Mohamed Mahrus, a 22-year-old actor and national swimming champion who has a mental disability, told Efe.

Mahrus recalled, however, that the cinema institute, Egypt’s largest, only allowed the entry of students with disabilities in 2018.EFE


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