Launched in 2005, Al-Manarah is the Association for Persons with Disabilities, the first organisation of its kind within Arab society in Israel. They aim to promote a paradigm shift in attitudes toward persons with disabilities: from the dominant medical model in which persons with disabilities are passive objects of compassion and charity, to the social model in which persons with disabilities actively assert their fundamental human rights.
While Al-Manarah works primarily within the Arab society within Israel, it is committed to using disability advocacy as a tool for building bridges between the Arab and Jewish communities. In a region that is increasingly divided across the fault lines of identity politics, Arabs and Jews can unequivocally stand together on the issue of disability rights.
Their objective is to empower Arab persons with disabilities by providing them with the skills and self-confidence that they need in order to access higher education, employment, and equal participation in their diverse communities. Al-Manarah enables Arab persons with disabilities to set an agenda for their own learning, realize their full potential, and contribute to a vibrant community as capable and determined peers. Promoting Social Awareness has been AlManarah’s flagship program for much of the last ten years. Over the course of 2014, AlManarah staff and volunteers delivered over 100 workshops to over 2,300 people, engaging as wide a range of groups as possible within Arab society in Israel.
Through the promotion of social awareness, strategic legal advocacy, and courses within its Center for Independent Living, Al-Manarah works with Arab persons with disabilities, with a focus on women and youth, so that they can access education, employment, and public services. Al-Manarah’s work additionally enhances cooperation between Jewish and Arab civil society organizations that advocate for persons with disabilities, and provides legal leverage for the enforcement of domestic and international disability rights laws. Although Al-Manarah’s impact is felt throughout Israel, Al-Manarah remains deeply rooted to its community in Nazareth and the surrounding region.
EVENT REPORT: Pre-2014 Study Trip Event 'Israel - From state-building to society-building: the road ahead'
12 March 2014
The UK Task Force held a special event in advance of the next study trip on 5 March at the JHub. Over thirty people attended