Two young deaf Syrians, Ryad Hommos and his friend Bisher, are working to create special sign language characters so that Syrians like them can talk about the war that has ravaged their country for the past six years. Abu Dhabi's The National reports.
For instance, they have created a way to sign both the English word for the IS group and also the acronym used for it in Arabic: Daesh. Raising the little finger twice represents "I" and placing a thumb on the index finger and the middle finger makes an "S", to signify ISIS, (ISIL) the extremist group.
Official estimates say there are about 20,000 deaf people in Syria, but a local NGO puts the real number at five times that -- and the deaf suffer doubly, living through a war without being able to understand or be understood.
For 21-year-old Hommos, who is helping to create the new signs, the horror of incomprehension and ensuing realisation can be both dangerous and heartbreaking. While he and his family were fleeing from the fighting, snipers shot his mother, uncle, aunt, three cousins, a brother and their baby sister.
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