Making the irrelevant relevant: The case of the invisibles with disabilities in the middle east

Najma Al Zidjaly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The international discourse on disability and resulting laws have remained largely irrelevant and, to some extent, untranslatable to the lives of the millions of people with disabilities in the Middle East. Centralising the agency of people with disabilities has been recognised as key to propelling forward the agenda of critical disability studies, as has engaging in dialogue with non-Western cultures. People with visual disability, in particular, have at all times been a part and parcel of traditional Omani society - that is, they were never excluded but rather celebrated. Highlighting the Arabic culture and context also is crucial to disability studies, as it provides a challenge to the “universal” discourse of disability movements. Centralisation and a lack of services therefore unnecessarily compound the experience of living with disability in the Middle East. The chapter argues the inclusion of the Middle East and it’s roughly estimated 45 million Arabs with disabilities in the international discourse on disability.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterdisciplinary Approaches to Disability
Subtitle of host publicationLooking Towards the Future: Volume 2
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351053211
ISBN (Print)9781138484016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 12 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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