Alwaleed Philanthropies Launches “Esma’ani” The First Center for the Hearing and Speech Impaired

Alwaleed Philanthropies (AP), chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz AlSaud, announces the launch of “Esma’ani” project in partnership with the Ministry of Labor and Social Development in Saudi Arabia. The project will see the establishment of a first of its kind center in the Kingdom, dedicated to providing around the clock services for people with hearing and speech impairments.


People with hearing and speech impairments face constant struggles to fulfil their basic needs. Their needs are often overlooked, which makes it harder for them to gain access to legal, health and community services. In an effort to give the hearing and speech impaired individuals equal access to free services offered by the government and private sector, the center will provide invaluable services to these people, such as remote video sign language interpreting as a simple and practical solution, and 24 hour dedicated interpreters. Complementing the center is a live chat option will become available on the Ministry of Labor and Social Development’s website and a mobile application will also be developed to enable easier interaction. 


This segment of society and specifically those with impaired hearing are often disregarded by others. Many day-to-day services are not easily acceptable for those with a disability, and hence this project provides sign language training for interpreters and relatives, as well as available public and government sector employees for further assistance. “Esma’ani” falls under Alwaleed Philanthropies’ work in community development and youth empowerment.


Commenting on the launch of the new center, Ms. Amal Al Kathiri, Executive Manager of the local Initiatives said “We are proud to be pioneering the establishment of the Kingdom’s first center to help individuals with hearing impairments gain equal opportunity like the rest of society. Inclusivity is vital for any society to prosper and we are confident that the new center will create a better future for the many people in the Kingdom who suffer from hearing and speech impairments.”


For over 35 years, Alwaleed Philanthropies has supported and initiated projects in over 120 countries regardless of gender, race, or religion. Alwaleed Philanthropies collaborates with a range of philanthropic, governmental and educational organizations to combat poverty, empower women and youth, develop communities, provide disaster relief and create cultural understanding through education.