Raian Hoblos is a fully Deaf Muslim ambassador. She delivers inspiring speeches in AUSLAN, using sign language. She is a good quality and skilled researcher and a strong advocate for women from a Lebanese Muslim background.
Raian says, “I am so proud to be an AUSLAN interpreter for a non-Muslim Aussie girl named Katie Eales. It is my pleasure that for the first time, I am teaching her the Sign Language to translate English in to Arabic. She wears a Hijab before joining our zoom meeting with other Deaf Muslims from all over Australia.
She is also the AUSLAN interpreter for a Muslim Lebanese woman named Yasmin Dandachi, who states that she is so proud to have two AUSLAN interpreters, which is so wonderful and exciting, and something different as an experience for her.
Raian goes further and states, “It is my pleasure that someone from Melbourne named Sherine Mohamed is trying to introduce me with two famous sheikhs. May Allah Bless and reward her for this help.”
Finally, for the first time ever, two renowned sheikhs, Alaa Eizcom and Belal Assad from Melbourne, have joined our Deaf Muslim group.
Raian explains, “I am so happy to experience this amazing session, where you can have the answers to your questions answered in the live sessions, and be able to understand things easier. Previously, it was so hard and frustrating to find the relevant answers and interpret them in the Sign Language. They are like a blessing to us, Allah (God) sent them at the right time to join us. It was a big need, and I wanted to welcome our sheikhs and thank them for accepting the invitation to join the session. InshAllah (God-willing), next time they will join us again, as our doors to zoom meetings are always open for them 😊.”
Raian advises, “I am a very skilled researcher who links international tourists from the Middle East. Recently, I met a deaf regional Sheikh and new a Sunni/Shia regional Muslims, who are deaf or have hearing difficulty, and their local sign language is hard to understand. However this isn’t hard for me, as they use facial expressions as a part of their sign language to express their own emotions or to describe the emotions of others, through the use of a range of emotions e.g., happiness, anger and sadness etc.”
“I love to go overseas and visit different countries, visit Mosques to research the history about the Quran, meet regional Muslims and new deaf people, visit Halal restaurants, shop for beautiful hijabs and clothing, see Ramadan and Eid festivals, attend deaf international conferences, and help set up my business to support the deaf community, which is my dream,” Raian explains.
“I was proud that I would be the first Muslim AUSLAN (Sign Language) interpreter for Arabic in NSW, and hoped it would inspire more Muslim Deaf groups in the future to share, grow, be beautiful, friendly, and always be positive, with a smile,” she says.
Muslims believe that being disabled is a test from Allah in this life, and therefore it is seen as a blessing.
At the Deaf Muslim Australia page, Raian has organised events for Islamic centres, Mosques and Sheikhs. This has been amazingly organised by her using her vast experience. Interpreters for deaf Muslims provides interpreters for events, conferences, meetings, workshops, lectures, prayers, and at mosques.
The Deaf Muslim Awareness Australia page on Facebook is a charitable organization which breaks down communication barriers that Deaf Muslims face when establishing and advocating their knowledge in Islam.
Her goal is to make Islamic resources fully accessible to the Deaf community through a variety of services including:
- Arrange for an AUSLAN interpreter to be present at local mosques for the translation of sermons and prayers.
- Arrange for an AUSLAN interpreter to be present at festivals (e.g. Islamic workshops, Eid, Ramadan, Restaurant, Holy night celebrations), conferences, and heaps more.
- Setting up Islamic classes with many interpreter services, to address the knowledge and levels of Deaf people.
- Raising awareness in the community about the challenges being faced by Deaf people.
- Approaching organizers to make their events accessible to the Deaf.
- Training interpreters on Islamic terms and signs so that they are able to interpret it in a religious way.
- Interpreting the Quran.
“I witnessed that we are in so much frustration, however I already see a positive change come about. I would say: “You can see a sense of belonging in this group. They’re also thinking, ‘is this too good to be true? But you can already see the happiness on their faces,” explains Raian.
It has taken alot of time, however, good things come to those who wait. Finally, there is a religious organisation tackling the problems faced by the Muslim deaf community when it comes to learning about Islam. The Islamic Education and Community Centre are currently leading the way and changing all lives for the better.