SHARJAH/Sharjah Government Media Bureau, May 15, 2017 -- Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) today organised Al Manal Forum in collaboration with UAE Disabled Sports Federation and the Asian Paralympic Committee at Sharjah Chamber for Commerce and Industry and under the leadership of HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman of Sharjah Department of Statistics and Community Development.
HE Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Managing Director of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services and Editor-in-Chief of Al Manal Magazine, said the Forum, Themed “Remote… Disability & Sports Media”, was an opportunity to shine the light on the pioneering role played by SCHS in supporting people with disabilities -- from hosting Al Thiqah Club to encouraging disabled students to pursue hobbies professionally and earn laurels and medals in major tournaments and competitions at the local, regional and international levels.
“SCHS has always been keen to address through Al Manal Forum issues never before addressed with due sensitivity, believing in the need to highlight the challenges posed by such issues and propose right solutions. Hence, the media and its impact on society has been the theme of more than one edition of the Forum,” she emphasised.
Speaking on the occasion, Mona Abdel Karim, Director of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, pointed out that Al Manal Forum is organised regularly by SCHS to mark the anniversary of Al Manal Magazine, which was launched in 1987 as part of the charity’s efforts to work for a better future for the society in general and for persons with disabilities and their families in particular.
She stressed that SCHS, in cooperation with specialists and media professionals taking part in the Forum, seeks to strengthen the engagement and communication between the media and persons with disabilities as well as advancing the level of sports media coverage in this area.
The opening session of Al Manal Forum presented the study, ‘Remote… Disability & Sports Media’ on the print media coverage of news on the sport of persons with disabilities. The study, which analysed the content of four local dailies -- Al Ittihad, Al Khaleej, Al Bayan and Emarat Alyoum -- throughout 2016, revealed that the number of reports published on persons with disabilities’ sports in the four newspapers combined was 639.
Out of these, the study revealed that 456 (71.3 per cent) were duplicate stories. It also revealed that the news coverage of persons with disabilities’ sports was seasonal and that 69 per cent of the published material was press releases sent by UAE-based institutions concerned with the sports of persons with disabilities. The highest coverage of news on disabled sports was found in Al Ittihad newspaper, which represented 34 per cent of total coverage with 217 news reports.
On this occasion, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of UAE Disabled Sports Federation and former Chairman of Al Thiqah Club, was honoured recognising his crucial support to the sport of persons with disabilities.
Al Ittihad newspaper was feted for its constant support and keenness to cover news of disabled sports, together with Al Khaleej newspaper, which through its sports supplement "Al Khaleej Al Riyadi", has given special attention to this kind of news. Dubai Sports and Al Bayan newspaper were also honoured for their outstanding efforts in supporting the sport of persons with disabilities through their coverage of disabled activities throughout the year.
Also feted on the occasion were the UAE Federation of Disabled Sports, the Asian Paralympic Committee, the Sharjah Government Media Bureau and Sharjah Sports TV for their support.
The session was concluded with a video on the role of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, in supporting disabled sports and the great positive impact of his decision to establish Al Thiqah Club, the first-of-its-kind in the region that has resulted in a real boom, as has been evident in numerous local, Arab and international tournaments.