Habaybna.net is a brand new online resource and learning hub that provides specialized content on developmental disabilities in Arabic throughout the Arab region. The new platform was launched in December 2017 aims to empower parents by providing customized knowledge – in Arabic – through articles and video interviews with experts giving practical guidance, as well as interviews with parents sharing their personal experiences and recommendations. Another important goal of Habaybna.net is to contest the negative stereotypes facing children with disability and focus on their special talents instead.
The founders, Reem and Mohammed Alafranji got inspired to establish Habaybna.net from their own journey with their two sons with developmental disability. Aboud and Amro both have a Global Developmental Delay, which the parents accidentally discovered in 2009.
“The name of the new online resource, Habaybna means “Our beloved ones” in Arabic, Reem Alafranji explains. “It reflects our firm belief that our children are our beloved ones regardless of their abilities.”
When Reem and Mohammed discovered their children’s challenges, they tried to find out where to start their new life journey and how to best support their sons.
“It turned out we couldn’t find any reliable resources in Arabic that would provide guidance and practical information,” Mohammed says. There were many websites and articles in English but that information was not customized to an Arab audience, and did not explain which resources and services were available in the Arab countries.
“Clearly, this is a major challenge in the Middle East for parents with children who have developmental disabilities, so we decided to do something to address this”, Reem says.
Many parents with children with disabilities not only face information shortages but also negative stereotypes in society about their children. In the media, children with disabilities always look miserable or helpless.
“It was not until we had our sons attending the right and specialized programs, that we started to change our perspective and realize that children with disabilities are just like anyone else, they are gifted and have talents,” Reem says. “What they need is to get the specialized programs that cater to their uniqueness. With a bit of awareness and alternative thinking, children with disabilities can be included in the community and become active members.”
The online platform Habaybna.net aims to provide specialized Arabic content and resources on developmental disabilities, and to collect and share the knowledge and experiences of families with similar journeys throughout the Middle East in addition to specialists share their experiences. The platform includes a video library featuring specialists and parents, useful articles and soon, a directory with resources and services available in MENA for people with developmental disabilities and their families.
How you can support Habaybna and get involved!
We believe in the power of the collective efforts to make a big difference and reach out to as many families and community members as possible.
If you are a passionate individual who wants to support our beloved ones with special needs – or if you are an organization that believes in Corporate Social Responsibility and wants to make an impact that lasts forever, you can contribute in several ways:
1- If you are a parent or a family member of a child with special needs, you are more than welcome to share your experience and hopes for the future through Habaybna.
2- If you are a specialist in the fields of rehabilitation or special education and you would like to share valuable information or tips that will benefit junior specialists and parents, let’s discuss a suitable format for you.
3- If you are an institution that wants to be part of spreading the message of awareness and acceptance, you can help us increase the resources of the video library by funding the production of a number of additional videos that will benefit thousands of families across MENA.
4- If you are an individual who has a skill or talent in content production, writing or social media, you can volunteer with Habaybna and make a difference.
Welcome to join our Habaybna family and help us make our communities a better place for our beloved ones with special needs. Simply Contact Us and we will contact you shortly!
Thank you for making a difference!
Reem & Mohammed Alafranji