At the Sharjah International Book Fair, people form a line next to Raneem Ahmed’s booth, eager for her to compose special messages for their loved ones.
Seated in a charming corner of Hall 2 at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), Raneem Ahmed skillfully maneuvers her fingers across the Braille keyboard display. Amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict that disrupts lives, this Palestinian expatriate remains focused. Her fingers gracefully glide over the raised dots, deciphering patterns and transforming words into messages of hope.
Radiating calm and determination, Raneem patiently guides those queuing up next to her booth, eager for her to compose special messages for their loved ones. Her personalized notes often cater to visually impaired children, encouraging them to embrace the joy of reading. Families, students, teachers, and individuals, including those without visual impairments, seek her expertise for heartfelt messages or keepsakes.
During the initial weekend of SIBF, Raneem crafted approximately 30 messages, adding a unique touch to people’s books. Requests varied from prayers (duaa) to messages like ‘don’t worry’ or ‘don’t give up.’
Ever willing to share her knowledge, Raneem takes a moment to explain the intricacies of the tactile reading system. She describes the Braille keyboard, emphasizing its two-column cell and the combinations of dots corresponding to each letter.
Beyond her role at SIBF, Raneem, a Braille teacher representing the Kalimat Foundation, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Ajman University’s College of Humanities and Sciences. With a perfect GPA, her overarching goal is to empower individuals with disabilities, fostering independence. Leveraging technology, she uses her phone with contracted Braille output and voice settings to navigate various tasks, showcasing self-reliance.
As a member of the Emirates Association for Visually Impaired, Raneem dedicates herself to teaching Braille to children, teenagers, and adults, striving to make everyone more self-sufficient.